Friday, June 15, 2012

Let's Be Brutally Honest: What's With Some Of Today's Slang?

First off, I should mention that I have finally made it to my 150th post, which in itself is an accomplishment. This is exactly double what I submitted to my high school newsletter and only twenty-three of those were Caponomics columns. That brings me to the fact that I haven't engaged in a "Let's Be Brutally Honest" segment in awhile, so I thought I would bring it back. Naturally, I'm not much of a complainer. Things are what they are, and you have to make the best out of what you have. However, even I have my pet peeves. This peeve happens to be some of the slang we use today. I can't stand it! I especially can't stand changing a word in order to provide it with a different meaning. Changing something negative into something positive or vice-versa has really made an impact on our language of American English.

If you have no idea what I'm saying just yet, I shall provide you with some examples. Two words that are now being used as compliments include "sick" and "dope." Let's start with sick. Only within the last decade, people that were being deemed as "sick" were people engaging in something disgusting or immoral. By definition, sick means not well, and can pertain to something minor like a cold or something major like a disease. It was probably during the Tony Hawk Pro Skater wave in which the term "sick score" got along the streets and people began using it as a compliment. Pick your side, because I have just about been set with considering something that is "sick" to either be unwell or mentally unwell, and in some occasions makes them immoral. Then you have the term "dope." A "dope" is somebody who is clueless as to their surroundings. Hence, the term "dope" became attached to drugs. Drugs make you dopey, thus the people who take drugs are considered dopes. In this day and age, it has become a compliment, one famous person that uses this compliment is Randy Jackson on American Idol. I don't find it to be a compliment. I find it to be an inappropriate, misused term that if used as a compliment eats away from your level of manners. I do, however, find that the word "mad" could be used is a positive light. Being "mad" initially means to be angry. It also means that you could mentally be mad, like a mad scientist. Thus, if you apply the compliment of "mad" to someone who is eccentric, yet successful, then the term is being used appropriately.

Probably the worst negative term being used in a positive light (forgive the inappropriate language, but I will only write it out once) is the term: "the shit." I absolutely despise it when someone uses this term in order to deliver a compliment. An example of this compliment being exercised is: "Oooh, that Applebee's over in that mall, that place is the s**t!" I must honestly say that anyone who uses that term needs to take every grade of vocabulary and manners class over again until they find the right words that could explain their point a bit better. This term is used as a word of profanity and in an aggressive format. Using it just for the sake of using it is just a waste of time, and shows that you are a disrespectful individual. I have absolutely no issues with profanity, but don't curse because you think it sounds good. In reality, it doesn't really sound good.

There are other words that were meant for one purpose, but switched to another. One of those words is "retard." This word is used to describe someone who is not at the mental capacity of the majority of people. It was originally an appropriate medical term. It became an inappropriate insult when people began to describe things they didn't like as "retarded." They had to eventually change up the term, because it became too insulting even as a medical term. Another inappropriately used term is "gay" in the form of an insult. Originally, "gay" meant happy, then it became the term used to describe a homosexual male. These terms are perfectly fine. The term that isn't fine is using it as an insult. An example would be, "Two piles of Math homework??? This is gay!" First of all, you're insulting homosexual males. Second of all, you're showing that you're not very educated. Third, SUCK IT UP!!! You don't become a success story by eating potato chips and watching cartoons all day. Back to my point, words have meaning. The word "gay" has two meanings, one of which more noticeable than the other, but not three meanings.

In reality, we live in a country where we have a freedom of speech. So if you want to speak with this form of slang, have a ball and speak with this form of speech. I absolutely respect that right that we have. I cherish my freedom of speech, too, and these words in the mentioned matters will not be spoken. I don't feel that it does anything to boost your impression. I would also begin to feel sick (based off of the original definition) if these forms of spoken words make their appearance into Webster's Dictionary. We don't need to speak like we're the most educated English majors and use big, fanciful words in which a dictionary would be needed in order to understand the main point in the conversation. Just speak like you care about how you speak, and others will begin to care for you in that matter.

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