Friday, January 08, 2010

Assignment: Mayhem
Giving words with no meaning, meaning.

Recently, on Facebook a friend was discussing that someone had farted on a plane. As the conversation thread continued, several guys chimed in saying when they had to “beef” or “honk” or “tune it” they went away from people. Still farther into the thread a woman had to ask what those terms meant. Unlike any of the guys who’d never heard those teams before, she needed an exact definition.

This got me thinking how guys will come up with words or phrases about something, drop it into a conversation and—poof!—it’s part of the lexicon. If any of you wonder about the success of Snoop Dogg, this is how the shizzle came about: someone said it and another guy repeated it, without knowing too much about it. It sounded cool, so it must mean something—and begs to be repeated.

Guys do this all the time. Men mentally mature to the age of 12 and stop. We hear something and wanting to A) not appear stupid and B) come across as cool, we just repeat the word/phrase without thinking about it. Guys speak in a certain code that we easily understand and women don’t: lowest common denominator, aka Dick and Fart Jokes.

Want to enter something into the common vocabulary of your friends or colleagues? Just drop it into a conversation and it will build into a common phrase. It doesn’t even have to make sense. Pick a phrase, throw it into multiple conversations with different guys and see what happens.

Let’s try the phrase “go to market.” (Currently defined as a strategy encompassing the channels that a company uses to connect with its customers/business and the organizational processes it develops). However, let’s try it several different ways:

  • “Sarah is so fucking hot. Man, I definitely want to ‘go to market’ with her.”

  • “Dude, I ate too much Mexican last night and I had to ‘go to market’ three times already this morning.”

  • “Not sure what’s in the air, but I’m randier than hell this week. I’ve been ‘going to market’ three times a day for the last four days.

  • “I’m exhausted, I think I need to ‘go to market’.”


Okay, the last one didn’t even make sense, but no guy wants to admit he doesn’t know, so he won’t question. Should the unlikely event occur and he asks, just respond with “seriously?”, shake your head and tell him “never mind.” He’ll feel stupid for asking and say something like, “Oh, ‘GO to market… ah. Got it.”

If you’re adding a phrase into The Great Lexicon of Manhood, I would suggest adding “If you know what I mean” at the end. You can make anything sound dirty with that phrase and a leer:


  • “Want to go to church? If you know what I mean.”

  • “I love kittens and puppies, if you know what I mean.”

  • “I need to get a lot of work done today, if you know what I mean.”



Again, they don’t make a lot of sense, but ‘if you know what I mean’ gives it life.

Your assignment is to find some random phrase and work it into a conversation and see what happens. Report back with your results.

I’ll be waiting… if you know what I mean.

2 comments:

Henrietta.GO said...

WOW!
that is totally true!
All my guy friends do the exact same thing,
For instence : "Oh ya,I beaked that kid so hard he didnt know what to do with himself."
Seriously? Beaked?
Ya it means to "put down."
Or "Make fun of."
So I totally knew where you were going with this blog.
I liked it :)

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