What really sticks in my craw

Kai Beasley

You know what really sticks in my craw? I can’t stand the slang curve. As I get older and slang gets more and more complex, I find it harder and harder to stay groovy and down with the g-funk-playa-homie-young blood pimps of the world. And the worst part about it is that I’m not that old!

In my observations of young culture, I find that the only reason slang changes is because a less popular or older group begins to use the same terms as the younger hipper crowd, thus making those terms uncool. Allow me to explain.

Let’s say my homie g’s and I are chilling in the strizeets and we come up with a new slang term. Let’s say that after passing judgment on a party that my friends and I enjoyed the previous night, we coin the phrase “oppo-cool.” For example, we might say something like, “Yo son, that party that we all attended last night was straight up oppo-cool. I ain’t never been to nothing more oppo-cool than that party do you concur?”

Now clearly “oppo” comes from the English “opposite,” and “cool” refers to temperature as not hot, or chilly. Clearly then, we have the term “oppo-cool,” or the opposite of cool, which is hot. Therefore, one can say that oppo-cool, and hot mean the same thing, as in “Yo, my friends, that party last night was hot, yes indeed, exceptionally hot.” We now have coined a new slang term with a coolness factor of lets say 10 cool points.

But let’s say my father, who is fastly approaching the age of 60 years, after hearing the term several times on BET and MTV, CNN and other really cool TV networks, decides that he likes the word and wishes to use it whenever possible. He might say something like “Son, good morning. Your mother and I went out last night and she looked really oppo-cool.” He might even take it a step further and use the term in front of my friends with whom I have a serious reputation for being rough, rugged and raw. Because my father (as much as I love him) is seen as being part of an un-cool generation, the slang term which originally had a coolness factor of 10 now has a coolness value of around -13. Clearly . . . un-cool. Fo’ shizzle. Pretty soon, the term becomes widely used among un-cool populations all over the world and Canada (that’s right, Canada).

It is at this point that the Cool Group must get together and come up with a new term. Thus, we have the evolution of the slang curve. People throw away perfectly good words like “house” which became “hizouse,” which then turned to “hizzie” then “hizzie fo shizzie.” It is impossible to keep up with such a rapidly changing slang trend.

But Villanova, I must say that what is even more alarming than the change itself is the reason for the change. In my opinion, it’s very rare that behavior is justified simply because someone else is doing it. What kind of life do people have if they live their lives based on what someone else is doing? And I think we all know what that is like, especially living in college. I’m sure many of us still make decisions based on what someone else wants, what is accepted, what is cool and what other people might think of us. How wonderful would it be if we could live our lives for ourselve? Do what we want, talk how we want to talk and use slang because we like it, not because 50 Cent says we should. That is easier said than done, but I challenge you all to try it out. You might find out that you like it.

And that, is what really sticks in my craw. Good luck, Villanova, and godspeed.