Srsly guys. Epic.

Okay, so you’re having a sale. You want to get rid of your crap. But really, lady? A sale of epic proportions?

So you’re planning to have (or sell) some heroes at your lengthy, narrative sale? A couple of cultural icons just strolling through? Maybe Elvis is going to be there? Possibly Lance Armstrong or Sitting Bull? Just hanging out, considering the mismatched teacups.

Or maybe you’re thinking of getting yourself some fancy, fully orchestrated score to accompany your sale; maybe it’s all about the human drama. Maybe people from other businesses are going to come over and tell all about their crossing to Canada, and those wavy remembery lines will take over and…no? That isn’t it?

Ohhhh. You mean the kind of ‘epic proportions’ that involve your sale *actually* being held in some other reality, at a market where they also sell memories and loincloths for orcs. So, what you’re saying is that all of your salespeople will be speaking fluent Elven and singing that song about the breeze through the leaves.

Could it be that you’re considering how important that everyone *at* your sale knows they are *part* of the sale, like Brecht’s dialectical theatre. Maybe that’s what you mean.

Words, ma’am, ought not be tossed away like spent sunflower seed shells on the beach. It is important to know what you are saying, and what the words you use actually means. If what you *mean* is “We’re having a sale in which everything in the store is on discount”, then you ought to say that. Or, better yet, **TRUST THE WRITERS** you’ve hired to write ads for you. None of them would be caught dead describing a big summer blowout sale as “epic”.

Sure, maybe a lot of people think that “epic” means simply “really big”. Maybe you think that your sale will be, as they say in the dictionary, “of unusually great size or extent”. And if that’s the case, I expect your “sale” to encompass two city blocks, shut down traffic, and I expect your merchandise to be marked at least 70% off retail price. But I suspect that’s not the case. I suspect what you mean is “we’re having a big summer sale”.

Okay, it’s something all the kids are saying these days, and I must admit, I laugh out loud when a teenager or twenty-something says “Oh man. That exam was EPIC, man.” And perhaps, if all you’re trying to do with language is get your point across, I suppose you’re successful. But do you really expect me to believe that that was as exciting as you could be? As creative? That the only way you know how to describe your biggest, unique summer sale is by ostensibly misusing a word?

That’s just sad, you know. It’s sad, because words are here for us to play with…and okay, I’ll give you this – if you *actually* have Achilleus at your sale, I will retract my snottiness. If there are goblins and halflings and orcs (oh my!) at your sale, I will apologise. If your sale is actually a play in which everyone knows it is a play, good on you. But if all that happens is I walk into your shop and see a couple of “25% off! Today only!” stickers on a couch or rack of clothes, sister, really. Epic it ain’t.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

11 Comments

  1. I do believe I’ll forward your link to the Powers-That-Be in my office.
    You very creatively stated what I’ve been trying to tell people around here for awhile – unbvelievable hype in advertising is DEAD. It’s now beyond merely “unbelievable” and has entered the realm of “offensive”.

  2. Everytime one of those little LOL speakin’ motherfuckers says ‘Epic Win’ or ‘Epic Fail’ I want to shove my fist through the computer game I’m playing and choke them. Then graps their parents, and hit them so hard in the recycling (Heheheheheh)that they are sterilized and can no longer infest the world with their idiot offspring.

    But I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to abuses of the English language without thought to the breaking of conventions to create something or reinvent something.

  3. umm… i don’t know who you are, i just randomly walked into this place, but this was probably the best thing i have read all day. and i’ve read some pretty amusing things.

    keep up the good work?

  4. Yeah by 15 I was aware of the importance of language and it’s meaning and usage.

    Maybe when I was 8. I remember getting laughed at, at a Thanksgiving.

  5. DK – You know, even at the tender age of 15, I knew why growed-ups were laughing at the things we said (except my mum. She rather liked the fact that I used the same word for…er…cool things as she did (“cool”) when she was my age. But here’s the thing – when I was fifteen, if I heard someone advertising something as “awesome” or “rad”, i just sighed and wished those people who did ads could come up with something better.

  6. What I want you to do is go back, back in time, back to the time of the cave man. Troglody…no, no, that’s a different script. Go back to when you were, say, 15 or so, and recover for us some stoopid word or phrase that you used to repeat ad nauseum to make yourself feel like you were, totally, like, cool. Bitchin. Awesome. C’mon, don’t be shy, let’s put it out there with the frothing epic and line em up, tallest to shortest. You ageist snob.

  7. Thanks, man.

    And thanks for stopping by. hopefully over the summer, I’ll post with more regularity.

    I used to be *very* good at that.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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