card by Kit Davey

card by Kit Davey

Biggerbetterfasterstronger and so on… In these days of some is good, more is better and too much is not enough, the word epic does get perhaps overused. [Although one of the best compliments I’ve gotten about something I’ve baked – the macaroons – included it, so I can’t totally dis it. “All kidding aside, those treats were epic (and we try not to use that word around here.)”] There’s that wanting to distinguish something as The Next Level, but then once everything becomes Epic, then where do we go from there?

Anyway, semantics aside, I really like the sentiment of this card. Not taking itself to seriously, not a corporate slogan. Of course I also like it because it’s on a map, which implies going places. When I was first thinking about this post many of my friends were doing epic shit – mostly involving cycling long distances – 1200k, 1000k, the 508, across the US of A, along the Sierra.

BIG epic shit. Here’s the thing about epic though. Or a thing anyway. It’s relative. Riding 20 miles could be epic. It all depends. What really brought this home for me was recovering from my bee sting reaction. I could hardly get out of bed for a couple of days. When I did it felt pretty epic. Then when I first went back to work that took everything I had and I pretty much just went back to bed when I got home. Fortunately I had a full recovery.

It made me realize how fortunate I am to be healthy, and be able to do a day’s work and (most days) still have energy to do other things once I get home. It’s not something to be taken for granted. There are people who, for longer spells or even permanently, have a condition such that the just getting out of bed, or just getting to work is pretty epic.

Don’t sell yourself short, there’d definitely times for crazy big epic, but just because you’re not climbing the Matterhorn every day doesn’t mean you’re not doing epic shit.

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1 Response to epic

  1. Grant says:

    In this time of Micheal Bay movies, I don’t find the hyperbolic common use of “epic” surprising. The obvious end of this adjective inflation, is every noun & verb described to the Max!, occupying both ends of the spectrum. Leaving the middle ground as the uninteresting emotional desert of conversation or paradoxically the refuge of the truly important events. When did everyday events need this type of description, “Tots Awesome workout”, “Knarly waves”, “Epic dumps”. Honestly, unless your battling a Golgothan or have a colostomy, was it really that epic?

    Interestingly, according to Google, professional use of “epic” is on the decline (https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=epic&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&share=&direct_url=t4%3B%2Cepic%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bepic%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BEpic%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BEPIC%3B%2Cc0). Looking at the usage, it appears that “epic” peaks in good times but during difficult times usage goes down. Perhaps the professional writers practice adjective inflation and revert to a more balanced descriptive word choice when reality shows everyone what is truly epic, like wars or severe economic downturns.

    I agree with you that people need to see the epic-ness of their lives. One of the synonyms of epic is heroic, and people need to get in touch with their inner hero. They need to understand that they
    aren’t the antagonist in their lives nor a disinterested third party, but the protagonist. “See your future, be your future, make your future, Danny.”

    Thanks for the epic post! grant

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