Linguists, parents and English language teachers celebrated this week, when for the first time in more than a decade, a teenager used the word epic in the correct manner.

Abigail Mitchell, a secondary school student from Albuquerque, New Mexico, updated her Facebook status after she finished reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, a book assigned to her as part of the school curriculum.

While her status was still truly horrifying to read, ‘OMG, dat woz lyk literally da most epic thing I have ever read since Hunger Games part 2 #epic #virgil,’ it has provided a glimmer of hope that the word can still be used appropriately.

For years an ‘Epicidemic’ has plagued the globe, from the seemingly endless and often banal ‘Epic Fail’ memes to epic hashtags, used to describe everything from a new pair of shoes to a haircut or traffic jam.

#epic tweets
#epic tweets

Such has been the widespread and influential misuse of the word that the Oxford dictionary has included an additional meaning to its list of definitions, ‘epic: a word once reserved to describe deeds of heroic or legendary proportions (ref. Homer, Dante et al.), whose meaning has, by gross misuse from a generation of linguistic termites, been eaten away from the inside and eroded of all beauty and strength.’

Also this week, in what would be undoubtedly described as an ‘epic fail,’ a London man has failed spectacularly at the #sneaky concept, whereby social media users do something ‘sneaky,’ or ‘naughty’ and then post about it, thus completely cancelling out the supposed benefits of anonymity.

#sneaky tweets
#sneaky tweets

While Scott Carter’s wife was away on a business trip he tweeted the below photo with the caption, ‘Home alone this weekend, time for a #sneaky session with the mistress #wifesaway.’ When the tweet was seen by his wife she replied that Scott will have many more free weekends from now on.

Mr Carter and an unidentified woman
Mr Carter and an unidentified woman

 #epicfail Scott.

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