Tuesday, August 11, 2009

American Power And "Epic Fail!": An Observation

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:


Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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?

[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:


DutchBS said...

Yo James...what up? Came across your blog and thought I'd say hello. Hope you're doing well out there in Cali. Your blog looks great. I'll look forward to following it...

JBW said...

Dutch! What up, bud? Good to hear from ya. Hope the fam is doing well. I'll look forward to being followed.

Tim said...

I would have thought that Sarah Palin would have exclusive rights to the term "Epic Fail" according to the dictates of wise Professor Donald.

Let's see -- VP candidate: FAIL. Governor: FAIL. Speech maker: FAIL. Birth control advocate: FAIL.

(Once I found out that AMERICAN POWER was monetized, I realized that I am not going promote, send traffic, or make impressions on a site I consider one of the worst pieces of evil on the planet. Besides, I always hated the slightly fascist-sounding name!)

Kevin Robbins said...

JBW, your comments on Dr. Don were far out. And the clip was awsesomely groovy. Westley seems to have some good advice for Don, though.

"Get used to disappointment."

Kevin Robbins said...

Just thought I'd share this with your readers (and Don if he's skulking about), JBW. Definitely a fail, probably not epic, though.

Intrepid Californio said...

Feeling a but pugnacious are we JBW?

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

I just figured all his pop phrases were some private joke between the Professor and that Phillipe Ohlund dude.

JBW said...

I envision a world where Palin and Don both get to share the term "Fail", Tim. Maybe that's a bit too socialist of me though...

These guys have had almost 7 months to get used to disappointment ex DLB and it seems to have only made them angrier (if that's possible).

I'm always feeling a bit pugnacious IC, but I doubt if Don will ever see this post and I could really care less either way. Just wanted to make the observation.

I think Phillippe's a good guy T101 but if he and Don are communicating in some evangelical god code I can't discern it. I'll leave that to the fundies.