The evolution of words fascinates me. Absolutely! Love it!
I like to keep a running list in my head of the hip words I hear young
people using, although my personal hip factor runs years behind the curve.
For example, did you catch that "Absolutely! Love it!" business in the
first paragraph? That is totally hip right now.
One caveat though: You need to say it with energy -- like you are either a
hyperactive cheerleader or as if you accidentally mixed six espressos with
four Red Bulls. As slang goes, it is very positive and should be said when
someone has a remotely good idea.
For instance, the young person driving your car says, "I think I'll stop
the car instead of running this red light and barreling through four lanes
of cross traffic."
You would respond with, "Absolutely! Love it!"
"Absolutely! Love it!" gets a bit old after the 400th time, but it is still
better than that haggard word "random." For a while, it seemed every third
word spoken by a young person was, well, random.
"After study group we went for coffee. It was completely random."
I never knew if random meant the choice to study was a fluke, or if they
chose where to have coffee by flipping willy nilly through the Yellow Pages.
Before random appeared, the food words were big.
"We're having lasagna for dinner."
"Not really. There might be some natural sugars in the tomatoes, but as a
rule lasagna is not sweet."
Turns out sweet had nothing to do with food at all. It meant they liked
One of the words that peaked some time ago, yet still lingers, and with a
bad aftertaste, is "whatever." Conjoined with a roll of the eyes,
"whatever" easily can be mistaken for insolence, consequently spelling B.T.
for the one speaking. (That's parent slang for big trouble.)
When "whatever" was cresting, the husband and I took a trip to North
Carolina and decided to visit a small country church on Sunday morning. It
was totally random. The pastor was like away on a family emergency, so his
son, a seminary student, filled the pulpit for him.
It was a good message for a young man speaking on short notice, but at the
end of every major point, he would pause and then say, "Whatever."
"And the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control." Pause. "Whatever."
Although unintentional, the scriptures were never taught with more
The current phrase I find perplexing is "what not." A sure way to ruin a
good story is to gut it with "what not."
"So a bunch of people came over, we made tacos and what not and then we
watched a DVD. Everybody hung around until about midnight talking and what
"What do you mean, what not?" I ask.
"You know, what not."
"No I don't know. What was what not? Was there something that did not
happen. What was not?"
My tutor sighs. "It just means yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah. Get it?"
"Absolutely! But I don't love it."