On the young’uns and their talk

I do this thing nowadays where when I come up with something I want to talk about I now have to take a minute and decide whether I want to put it on the blog or TikTok. I think this one is actually going to go both places, but framed differently. I have to be briefer and funnier over there than I think is necessary on the blog– not that brief and funny isn’t good here, but I think people have more patience with prose than they do with video.

That out of the way, does anyone out there– and I’m talking mostly to the teachers who might be reading this– feel like the jump in new slang terms from last year to this year has been more thorough than any particular single year of school? New words and phrases emerge all the time, of course, and no group of kids speaks exactly like the one a year before or a year after them, and definitely not like the ones two years before or after them. But there’s something going on this year where these kids are throwing around a lot of words that I’ve not seen in previous years, to a degree that I feel like I’ve never seen before.

Some are more obvious than others (you know what “sus” means the first time you hear it) and others are a little bit more difficult– everything in the universe is either “cap” or “no cap” to my 8th graders right now, and I haven’t, uh, sussed out exactly what that one means yet. But there’s something going on here. It’s not just that I’m getting older; this has been a thing for my entire career, because it’s how youth culture works. I was too old for middle school slang when I was out of college; I’m not really any more too old for it at 44.

In which I am old and weird

So I wanted, for no good reason, to Tweet a particular line from a particular song, and I couldn’t quite piece together the words.  When one of the words in a song sounds like “mack-a-dang-dang,” and your ears are old and getting bad like mine are, you look them up.

So I tried to look them up.  Finding words to songs has never actually been difficult; this is among the easier Google searches in the world.  However, for some reason, when the artist’s name is Lyrics Born, finding the lyrics to his song suddenly gets real complicated, especially when the song is called Knock Knock and there are a bunch of songs by that name already.  Note that I still can’t actually find the lyrics anywhere– I have found a few videos and several places to stream the song, but not the actual lyrics.  Even my usual lyrics sites, usually on the top in the Google searches, have failed me.

(Resist the urge to be a smartass and find them; that’s not the point.)

Anyway, here’s what I thought I was hearing:

The name is Lyrics Born, AKA mackadangdang
Live from the 0-1-5 doing my thang thang

Silly, right?  Sure.  LB has some impressively complicated songs, “Knock Knock” isn’t one of them.  It was running through my head and I wanted to Tweet it.  But I could not make “mackadangdang” turn into a phrase I understood.  But it sounded pretty clear, right?

What the hell; I googled “mackadangdang.”  A few minutes and some spelling variations led me to this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 7.41.36 PM


You would think this would end the story, with me sheepishly realizing I was officially and irrevocably an Old and that there were words that The Kidz were using that I knew nothing of.


Instead of Tweeting the silly line from the silly song that was in my head and giving my followers an essentially meaningless Tweet to skip over and not read, I Tweeted this:

Because I wasn’t done being dumb yet.

And LB, because the world is a dumb place and it is endlessly fun to make fun of me, retweeted it.  To ten thousand people.

So now ten thousand people who have never heard of me know I’m old and dumb.

The end.