1980s: How are you doing? Fine, thank you.
1990s: How are you doing? Great.
2000s: How are you doing? Awesome!
2010s: How are you doing? Epic!!!!!!!
Over time, words lose their meaning. Like cars hooked together on a train, words carry freight. That freight consists of meaning and emotion (denotation and connotation, to be showy). Apparently, for some words, the freight leaks out. We use and overuse words to the point they have little meaning. If you tell me your day has been awesome or epic, I am sure you mean neither “that which produces jaw-dropping awe mingled with dread at powers beyond comprehension” or “worthy of universal acclaim and a big fat book like the Odyssey.” What you mean is “fine,” as our grandparents would say.
Word deflation. Continue reading