Juvenile most of the time, reviled some of the time, but never banal, the Urban Dictionary provides an alternative take on the everyday, and the night-time in-between.
It is dressed downwards of mature sometimes, maybe most of the time, but that is why it is the “urban” dictionary—just like a city, you do not visit this place with your mother:
You do know what LOL means right? OMG!!1! Lol, Mum pls stop using teh internets!1!!
Clearly, the Urban Dictionary is by and for the “Google Generation,” the generation which, to quote from the horse’s acne spotted mouth, was:
brought up by doing their homework using Google, as in ’damn, all these kids in the google generation get A’s’.
You’ll note that being educated by a search engine has not necessarily been a step forward for grammar. Likewise, in this dictionary, proof-reading and spelling are out of step, lagging far behind.
Did somebody say spelling? On this topic, the juvenile consensus of the Urban Dictionary is remarkably mature:
- A lost art.
- What people are incapable of doing on the Internet.
- Absent from the internet.Spelling, O Spelling, where art thou? Along with grammar, punctuation…?
The internet may still be predominantly American, but in matters of pronunciation, the Urban Dictionary is at times refreshingly international, waving the global flag for the Queen’s English as the rest of the world, with stiff upper lip or otherwise, correctly enunciates it:
How the entire world (except the Americans) say aluminium. Why? Because that’s how it’s spelled.
Brit: Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust.
American: You mean Aluminum?
Brit: No, I mean Aluminium. Moron.
Everything is not as it seems in the Urban Dictionary. Words do not just mean what they mean, or even what they have evolved to mean, for on these mean, new, lexicographical streets, words are melded into new and wonderful shapes, twisted, turned and bent in a manner that would give Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, a meltdown. You could say that in the Urban Dictionary, words become like plastic:
A materialistic, fake man or woman. In particular, someone who is attractive yet lacks any sort of depth whatsoever.
Everyone in this club is plastic.
It is perhaps not surprising that there is no entry in the Urban Dictionary for the author of 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, for his child, now generations removed, has been herein defined to door-stopping, fly-swatting irrelevancy:
A very large book full of information about how words are spelled, pronounced, used in a sentence etc. Although originally intended for reading, the dictionary serves many functions: it can be used as…
- a stepstool
- a flyswatter
- a paperweight
- a doorstop
- etc. etc. etc.
Likewise books are deemed no longer relevant by the precocious Urban Dictionary, and without search field and ability to instantaneously edit or copy and paste, depressingly one dimensional and linear. Which to paraphrase your English teacher is a shame, because despite their page turning, stitched and bound irrelevancy, books will never cease to have hidden dimensions of imagination and mind, dimensions not always apparent in their noisier, brasher successor:
an object used as a coaster, increase the hight of small children, or increase the stability of poorly built furniture.
where do you want me to put your drink?
oh, just leave it on top of that book.
But every rule and just coined and spun at home homily admits an exception—who would have thought of the just consigned to paperweight and wastebasket book becoming a synonym for “cool”?
In the T9 predictive text on cell phones, the numbers 2665 spell both “book” and “cool,” but “book” is the first word to display. To save time, it is left and understood to mean “cool.”
be there in 20
book. see ya then.
Every generation adopts and adapts words to make a language all their own; if you didn’t grow up watching nursery rhymes on DVD, the Urban Dictionary is your looking glass to a wonderland of language you have probably never heard:
One of the best words ever.. can be multi-purposeful… basically it’s a cat noise.. and implies confusion/question…
Billy: OMG I went and got a trichi today…
While much in the Urban Dictionary can be classed as new and unfamiliar, one can not always assume all that is from beyond the horizon of right now is even a twisted path to making sense—clicking on the dictionary’s random button serves up words and phrases so nonsensical that a team of untrained monkeys could not have typed their way to a place of less sense:
rapper from the Nasti Nati
it’s a new craze going into a new phase merk out and do the down da way -tocka
In the Urban Dictionary, sense and meaning is often found in a popular culture context. The respective 1970s and 1980s martial arts and ninja crazes give the following contemporary stereotype its brick-breaking cultural pin-point:
A person, usually male aged 13-35, who practices inferior self-taught fighting, killing, or stealth techniques in the basement of his/her parents’ home or in a basement apartment. Typical hobbies include collection of decorative ‘ninja’ weapons for the purposes of practice and display. Typical behaviours include exhibition of martial arts proficiency, provision of stealth tips, and demonstration of human pressure points.
Anybody who carries nunchucks to a 7-11 is a basement ninja.
Are you spending too much time online to avoid doing work offline? You’re a procrastinator, and the Urban Dictionary has got you coined:
One who will do anything, including spending an entire day looking up random words on urban dictionary, to get out of doing work. This habit often has a terrible effect on that person’s relationships, work, or grades.
I am a procrastinator
Yes, this internet age dictionary is broad and multi-participational—anyone can submit a definition or word, anyone else can vote it up or down—but no matter which dictionary you use, the rest of the world just does not understand Canada:
Canadian Heritage Moments
Commercials made by the Historica association of Canada, outlining Canada’s “achievements” in 60-second shorts. Considered by Canadians to be hilarious, people of any other nationality just don’t get them.
Serious and overbearing from a distance, Germans are a people also often misunderstood, but not by the all-embracing, always glib Urban Dictionary:
A country that is ambitious and misunderstood.
Everyone wants to be like Germany but do we really have the pure strength of will?
The country Hitler wasn’t born in.
Guy 1: Hey, do you know where Hitler was born?
Guy 2: Not Germany.
Guy 1: k.
Oh the youth of the today, they are so shallow, so infatuated with the temporal and passing, can we find any wisdom in any of what they say? Of course we can, but first we must understand the contemporary parlance within, the internet age idiom of cynicism and heavy sarcasm. Translated so, the following are as cutting and subversive as the polemic of any time:
Anyone who is Mexican and anyone who is mowing your lawn.
Anyone who runs across the U.S. border with Mexico
Mommy, look at that guy mowing the lawn.
Look away, George. He’s Mexican and he’s an illegal immigrant, and he’ll steal your ice cream if you keep looking at him.
The early 21st century drug of choice. A shared illusion, making its addicts think they have friends, a life, access to good information, and the critical thinking skills to form valid opinions. Fatal in large doses.
Paul spent the day eating Cheetos and watching Television, then had a light heart attack in the evening.
A place where people eat alot, get fat, and then sue to get money.
I ate at McDonalds everyday for 7 years and now I weigh 500 pounds, so I’m gonna sue them to make some cash.
No matter the culture, no matter the time or clime, the feeling and spirit of the human heart will always beat and breathe to the one timeless tune. Once upon a time and century distant, love-lorn haiku poets wrote of these same sentiments, under the very same half-clouded moon that shines today:
If you miss someone a lot and are away from them, you can both listen to the same song at the same time, and you will feel a deep connection to the other person, you will imagine what they are doing and feeling. It is different than talking on the phone. Both people get a strange feeling of bittersweetness and connection while the song is playing.
There is something soothing, reassuring about such moments of zen-like connectedness occurring in the most nontraditional of situations, and it is a reassurance that no matter how far we as human beings run, with iPod on and iPhone charged, from our cultural and social roots, we will never be able to SMS or Wikipedia ourselves away from the basic human condition:
Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
Q: Does a cow have Buddha Nature?
The final word on the Urban Dictionary to a seer-poet and library vast of his work, Sri Chinmoy Library, in haiku form:
E-mail is man-connection,
And not God-communication—