Slang and pop phrases

Observations in the Vernacular

Have you ever wondered where pop phrases get started? It’s weird how some take hold and find their way into our everyday conversations. One day something that’s ‘cool’ is better referred to as ‘hot’ a month later. And what about ‘gnarly’? Where on earth did that spring from? I thought I would go crazy hearing my teenage son and friends wear out the word “sweet”, often stretching the pronunciation into a minute and a half — sweeeeeeeeeeeeet! And ‘dude’ had its prime time, not to mention ‘dudette’.

How about, ‘no worries’. A friendly, sometimes comforting way to say ‘don’t worry about it’. But even more prevalent than that, how in the world did a simple “you’re welcome” every translate into the everyman’s “no problem” ?!

Possibly the most widely abused word of the last ten years is one that has been so diluted by over-use that it scarcely resembles itself. I refer to AWESOME. A very large word in meaning, representing amazement, grandeur, exceptional, superlative, even omniscient in some circles, and yet because our predilection to the vernacular has made it so commonplace it now sounds rather hokey, pretentious and even trite.

Wonder what the next vernacular ‘hottie’ will be? More than likely it will downsize from an entire word to what ‘texting’ has made possible — an archive of acronyms. It’s hard to imagine these shortcuts being used as spoken language, but, who knows, anything’s possible. Hmmm, I wonder how you would say…