Good news! The most overused word of 2013 is clearly in decline. Epic became synonymous with dudebro culture thanks to web phenomena like Epic Meal Time and epic fail, leading marketers to pounce on the word in hopes of reaching the demographic. That explains why CNN has it twice on their front page this morning, like a dad trying to connect with his son.
Epic hit its apex with the 2013 3D animated children's film Epic. Children's animation and a theme song by the film's Forest Queen Beyoncé was apparently too much for the word's dudebro street cred, and the word's stock started its precipitous decline. CNN hasn't gotten the memo just yet, as they currently have two articles with "epic" headlines: one on ebola hysteria, which they accurately describe as an "epic, epidemic overreaction," as well as Brad Pitt and Jimmy Fallon's thinly-veiled Fury promo, described as an "epic break dance."
More good news: epic's predecessor extreme continues its slow decline from its turn-of-the-millennium highs, and Gen-X fave awesome is making a comeback.
Via Bruce Sterling, the Chinese characters for "specific ethnic genetic attacks," "combat brain," "winning without fighting" and more.
Gretchen McCulloch is the internet's favorite linguist, whose outstanding 2019 book Because Internet explores how statistical methods can, for the first time, be applied to large amounts of informal communications, because for the first time, a huge volume of those communications are a) written and b) digital.
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