Unless you’ve been asleep at the keyboard, you’ve probably noticed that the term “Epic Fail” has suddenly increased exponentially in its usage on the Internet – it seems to have reached critical mass at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) gathering – and you, like many others, may have found yourself wondering “what the heck does Epic Fail mean?”
Interestingly, the meaning of “epic fail” isn’t something on which people agree, even though they are all using the term. It’s kind of like “great sex” or “delicious meatloaf”.
Nor can people agree on its origin. Many cite the PWNZ forum at the City of Heros gaming site, but some say it harkens back to much earlier times. (What “pwnz” means is another post, for another time.)
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In its purest form, epic fail means a catastrophic failure. Not just any failure – not just an “oopsy” – but a full stop, game over failure.
Like the Challenger exploding.
Or the Exxon Valdez.
Or Charles marrying Camilla.
But here is where it gets fuzzy. Because some people use the term “epic fail” to mean a failure that by its very show-stopping spectacularly failing nature comes full circle and actually “wins”.
Still others, perhaps those namby-pamby shrinking violet types, use it to mean something somewhat short of a spectacular failure, because they don’t have the cajones to actually come out and say “hey, you suck”, so they instead brand someone or something with “epic fail”. Or maybe they just haven’t (yet) experienced a full and complete failure, and so have nothing against which to benchmark for an epic fail.
So, now that you know what it means, got any great epic fail stories?
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