I don’t know which came first, “rad” or “bad.” Perhaps we as a pop culture were really into rhyming then, I don’t know. I just know that when those words became popular as slang, I avoided using them because I thought they sounded stupid. I remember one time I let a “rad” slip and I felt the need to apologize to everyone around me.
The slang words have changed over time, some I’ve used, but most I’ve tried to avoid. I felt silly when I did try, like I was trying to fit in with the “cool” crowd and I really didn’t belong there.
I remember when texting, chat rooms, etc. started becoming popular. I wasn’t into that culture right away so I really didn’t understand the point of all the abbreviations. Why couldn’t you just write HA! instead of LOL? After college I started getting into the chat room scene so I understood the need for shortened versions of words (although technically HA is still shorter than LOL). I became a prolific user of these abbreviations, especially BRB (be right back) TTYL (talk to you later) and of course the good ol’ LOL (laugh out loud). I have yet to use ANY of these abbreviations in verbal conversation. You all have my permission to smack me upside the head if I ever do.
Besides my hangup with looking like a wannabe cool person, I have another issue with some of the words or phrases that become popular. It drives me nuts when people use them inappropriately or excessively. Take LOL for example. As I stated (and hopefully most the planet knows), it means Laugh Out Loud. We’ve all heard the sad (but kinda funny) stories of people thinking it means “Lots of Love” and signing it at the end of a sympathy card (usually right after they express sorrow over the person’s passing). That’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s obnoxious how people use phrases like LOL to get out of taking responsibility for their own words. It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen people say something really rude or hateful and they follow it up with an LOL. Like that softens the blow?
The latest version of slang seems to be running rampant on social media and sometimes I think it’s cute but it’s really getting into that “over/miss-used stage. The phrase is “just sayin’.” Yes, the g is supposed to be missing. You are not being more grammatically correct if you say “just saying.” Like other forms of slang, it seems people don’t get how to use it.
I realize slang doesn’t have hard and fast rules like the rest of the English language, but it seems like there should be some sort of guide out there. It would at least attempt to prevent people from blindly using language when they have no idea what they are saying.
So yes, while this blog may be a rambling rant, it does have a point. Learn what words and phrases mean and how they are to be used before you use them. Seriously! (yes, I know that is slang from Grey’s Anatomy. At least I used it semi-correctly.)