A Justifiable Homicide

Axe execution equipment

The next time someone talks about taking their game to the next level or describes something ordinary as epic or amazing I am going to remove their head from their shoulders.
With some deft legal maneuvering and some luck my jury will be composed of English teachers who will rule it justifiable homicide and I’ll be set free.

I’ll gladly confess to being intolerant of certain things and those abuses of the language are among the top 982 things that irritate me. Did I mention the Oxford Comma is on the list too?

Why?

Because I can and because it is tedious to listen to people talk about why it should be used.

Can You Tell Us About Epic and Amazing?

Yes I can tell precisely why I am fed up with epic, amazing and taking it to the next level.

Epic and amazing are over used by people who are trying to turn ordinary events into something extraordinary. But the problem is the events they describe rarely merit those words.

And I hate taking it to the next level because it is just gibberish some poor slob through out there because he/she thought it sounded impressive.

It doesn’t. It is vague and meaningless.

I am not a big fan of symbolism. I like simple and direct because I want the meaning of what I write to be clear. If I praise you I want you to feel praise and if I insult you I want you to know you were insulted.

Sure I enjoy being insouciant and I like talking about defenestrating my enemies because it sounds good but if I am engaged in serious writing it important to be clear.

For example when I talk about taking something to the next level it probably means a person and the object is to move them from the first floor to the ninety-ninth.

Why?

Because when you defenestrate someone or something it means you are throwing them out the window. If you throw your enemies out lobby window on the 99th floor you have a story that can be described as both epic and amazing.

Storytelling and Great Content

Great content is anchored by great storytelling. Great storytelling doesn’t happen unless the message/story is easily understood by the reader.

Context helps too.

Today I came up with several ideas for works of fiction.

I thought about opening one of them with the story about a man who drives his truck into policemen who are issuing traffic tickets. It is a graphic image that sets a tone and grabs the reader but it doesn’t stand well on its own because without background the character comes across as being one dimensional.

If you saw it on film it might turn into an amazing crash and it was truly exceptional it might even be seen as epic, but without context it is more likely to be seen as gratuitous violence.

Gratuitous violence has become so commonplace it is as meaningless as most usage of amazing and epic so if the goal is to create something memorable we have to find a context to place it in.

What Is The Goal?

What is the goal?

My answer is to create content that people remember, understand and enjoy. Words that are tired, overused and meaningless make it much harder to make that happen.

What do you think?

  • http://necessityofchange.com Mary Stephenson

    Hi Josh

    Okay your photo is a little more graphic than I like. Ouch!

    I am with you on “take it to the next level”. What? Did you mean you are going to give it more as in effort or love? It is so over used and yes we know what they mean but it sounds so stupid. It is a worn out phrase, sort of like “you know”. I suppose the user feels like they might actually try to accomplish something if they proclaim it. Next level…what you are going to use colored pencils instead of black. You are going to pay more attention, as in the past you didn’t?

    Epic should be something spectacular above and beyond what most could accomplish. Amazing, well I might be pretty amazing at times. At least that is a whole lot more attainable. Especially when it comes to some craft stuff. But then again that might be pretty amazing to me and to those that know me. But in the realm of things with the rest of the world…probably not!

    Now we can snicker at those that say it, as we now have an inside joke! lol

    Mary

    • http://joshuawilner.com/ Joshua

      Hi Mary,

      I like to think we are all capable of amazing things and that during our lives we’ll have more than few moments that we can describe that way, but let’s save it for when it counts.

      Anyway, it sounds like we are on the same page here so I won’t belabor that. I hope your weekend has been great!