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An incensed inquiry:

I have a friend – I wish it was just one – who takes hyperbole to an extreme.  If he goes out to a four-course meal, it was “epic”, if he likes a car, it’s “epic”, if there is a band he likes coming to town, they, and all their music, is “epic”.  What can I say to make them realize how stupid it sounds.


He?  Or they?  Is it one friend, or many?  It doesn’t matter either way, because you can’t go around correcting people’s speech.  I believe the same friends would call that an “epic fail,” though I certainly agree with you in the inadequacy of the term in relation to the scope of the failure described.

Whatever – what you are trying to ask is “How do I point out the specific insignificance of my friends lives and the tales told of same?  And is there a way to smugly interject my own superior vocabulary to illustrate the banal use of the term “epic”?

The answer is still “You can’t” and “No”.

What you could do is go out and actually lead an epic life – perform daring feats of bravery, take on incredible mental and physical challenges and succeed beyond anyone’s expectations. Travel widely, learn some new languages (at least two), casually drink $250.00 bottles of wine.

Don’t tell anyone, though – just do it for you – and the next time someone asks you what you think about their “epic” whatever, you can simply smile and say “That sounds awesome, man.”  You let this build up over time, heaping one astonishing feat on top of another until someone asks what the Mandarin equivalent of La Belle Dame Sans Souci is and you just rattle it off, as if it was an automatic response.

Your friends will be floored.  How do you know this!? they’ll demand, and you’ll astonish them with your tales on the plateau, which will lead to another line of questioning which will, if you have followed the plan, reveal your life to truly be epic, and perhaps they’ll even stop using it around you.  While this is all going on, you can even pretend to be embarrassed.

As it is now, it’s just your friends who should be embarrassed.

Of you.


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