The Square Peg - So I’m like, “It’s literally epic, dude... seriously... it totally is!”
© S. Bradley Stoner
I thought long and hard about writing this. After all, I want to raise young people’s self-esteem, not dash it into the ground. I know each generation develops its own “youth language” to separate itself from the old fogey nation. The generations before mine had terms like 23 skidoo, she’s the bee’s knees, that’s the berries, classy chassis, hep cat, hipster, cool cat, square, copping a bit, getting your kicks, wigging out, and on and on.
My generation had far out, bummer, main squeeze, bad (meaning awesome as in “bad to the bone”), blitzed, funky, groovy, bogart (meaning to steal) aka rip off; from the drug culture we had weed, acid, stoned, doper/stoner, upper, downer, flying, crashing; and from the war, in country (to be in Vietnam), Indian country (enemy held territory), dee dee (run away), Charlie (from the military phonetics Victor Charlie for Viet Cong), FNG ( F_ing New Guy), and any number of colorful combinations of parentage and the “f” word... of course that was sort of pandemic in my generation and those of us who used it sparingly and seldom were considered square. Like people over 30, squares were not to be trusted.
I know the list is long compared to the previous one. Sue me... I know more about this that previous generations’ slanguage. Besides, I gave you only a smattering of it. I’ve forgotten a lot of it. That happens when you get a little age and realize that the rest of the world, particularly those in charge of hiring, neither use nor care for what they see as uncouth and common. Therefore, as one matures, one realizes that vulgarities and plebeian language doesn’t elevate one in esteem or salary. One chooses to embrace a more cultured approach. How’s that for a pompous string of words?
That brings us to today’s slanguage of the younger generation. Who decided every sentence has to be started with “so?” And why is everything :literally” this or that? And do you have to say “I mean” before you tell us what you mean? Every time? Oh, and by the way, not everything is “epic.” And, call your buddies “dude.” I’m not your buddy and I am most certainly not a “dude.” And please, please, stop with the “OMG,” girls, every time you think you need to express surprise, as in, “OMG did you see what she was wearing?!” Unless she wore a thong and a bra to class, it doesn’t require an OMG.
I won’t mention “totally.” Oh yes I will. It’s right up there with “literally.” Very few things are “totally” anything. And for those of you who are wont to say it, you can’t “literally die” and still be walking around. No, Virginia, zombies aren’t real. The only thing eating your brain is that little screen on your cell phone... and please, for your sake and everybody else’s, put that damn thing down when you’re behind the wheel of that two ton wrecking ball. You “literally” could die texting while driving. Seriously. (Oh, and that is a proper usage of that term).
And guys, stop using random unless something really is random. Very few people make “random comments” unless they’re on a psychiatric ward, drunk, or stoned. Also, you don’t make out with “some random girl,” and if you do, I hope you’re carrying protection or you might come home with some random gift you really don’t want. Then you’ll have to visit some random doctor who will give you an antibiotic in a not so random spot and you’ll probably limp for a day or two, which might elicit some random barbs from your not so random buddies, and that’s totally humiliating.
Last, but by no means least, will y’all please quit using acronyms on social media. I’m really getting sick of having to guess at what you are trying to convey or having to Google it. If I wanted to immerse myself in a sea of acronyms, I’d go back to consulting with DoD, EPA, DOE, ICE, OSHA, NASA, WSMR, LANL, LLNL, ORNL, FDA, DEQ, NGB and DNRC on P2, CERCLA,SPCCP, SWMP, EPCRA, TRI, SW, SDWA, NEPA, QRP, HAZWOPER, SUMRA, SUMSA, FLPMA, among others. Seriously. I mean it. Literally. Hmmm.... I've finally reached fogeydom. ROFLMAO!