I've noticed a somewhat amusing trend lately over at my conservative counterpart Donald Douglas' site American Power: The extreme overuse of the term "Epic Fail" to describe anything and everything he disagrees with, particularly in the exclamatory sense. I've addressed his use of the term before but recently the problem has gotten much worse. You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when an older female relative tries to dress as if she's still in her 20's and she just ends up looking sadly pathetic and tragically unhip? That's how I feel watching an uptight, fifty year old neoconservative repeatedly beat that Internet slang term into the virtual ground.
I also find it somewhat reminiscent of everyone I knew as a kid during the 1980's calling everything under the sun "Awesome!" or of Sean Hannity declaring everything the Democrats do or say "Unbelievable!". You pretty much sap these terms of all their rhetorical strength and meaning when you overuse them to the point of becoming a catchphrase. Or to quote The Princess Bride:
Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE!For now I'll overlook the linguistic irony of failing to use the term "Fail" correctly and offer some free advice: Stick with "Get bent" or "Jinkies" or "Keep on truckin" or whatever else you guys used to say back in the day Don, and leave the use of Internet slang terms to younger generations. You'll sound somewhat smarter when you write and hopefully your kids might be a little less embarrassed about going out into public with you. Can you dig it, jive turkey?
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
[Update: On an extremely tangential note, while unsuccessfully searching for a quality clip of the movie lines I quoted above I came across this Star Wars-ified reimagining of one of the best sword fights in movie history. Enjoy: