Friday, December 16, 2011

My Beef with IDK

I am not one of those people who get all hyped up on the correct use (usage?) of words, grammar and the English language. I don't flip a cahooney - yup, I just made that word up - when someone uses "their" instead of "there" or "then" instead of "than." I realize, obviously, there are bigger problems in life than whether or not you're starting a sentence with an unspecified determiner. I actually don't even know what that is, I just looked it up.

You see, I could care less about all of this despite having graduated with an English & Philosophy degree (...umm yeah, after I changed from Political Science to History & Writing to Philosophy to... Undeclared). Probably most English majors don't know what the heck else to study, so we study human stories, indirectly studying ourselves.

So I cringe when I tell people what I majored in in college because I inevitably know what comes next...

"Oh! Gosh! I should watch what I say then!"

Uh. huh? Unless you're being very rude I don't really care what you say or how you say it. I also don't care if, when texting/facebooking/gchatting etc. you use abbreviations, no punctuation or misspell words. I get that normal rules don't apply in those spheres of communication.


I have a GIGANTIC dislike for the abbreviation "idk." Gigantic. I wouldn't say I hate it. Hate's a strong word. But this "idk" thing grates on my nerves like nails tearing down a chalkboard. To me, "idk" (especially when spoken - GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) is on the same level of communication as cave-man grunting and Valley Girl speak.I cannot hear or see "idk" without hearing it the way Cher and her cohorts say "Whatever" "As if" and "I'm outtie" in the best-movie-of-the-century (and no I'm not kidding), Clueless. (*Fun fact: did you know it's a modern rendition of Shakespeare's "Emma"?! And oh by the way, the only true stereotype of English majors is that we all love Shakespeare - and dashes, and commas, and parantheses. Or maybe it's just me.)

But back to the dreaded IDK. It doesn't matter if a guy says it to me or a girl, I immediately hear Alicia Silverstone's voice and imagine that the person talking to me is smacking their gum, flipping and twirling their hair and wearing a mini-skirt with bubble-gum colored argyle knee-highs.

"Idk" is a viral term similar to "random" and "awkward" - it's become a blanket statement that covers a wide range of human emotion/thoughts/feeling and has been spreading like the flu in a college dorm room. Apparently it's "awkward" to tell someone that you aren't sure about something. Or you pretend like you aren't sure of something because if you knew something it would be so totally random that you actually knew it. I'm not sure. I'm confused. I don't really understand. Could someone please clarify? It seems more complicated than I know, let's talk about it. Can we discuss this? I'd like to know more about this. I need more information. Can we figuire this out together? Hmmm, what do you think?

You see there are a thousand other ways to respond when you don't have all of the information to know something. A thousand more engaging and helpful ways than this three-letter stonewall that people throw around. Because after someone says "idk" it gives the other person virtually no way to respond.

So please for the love of Shakespeare, the next time you don't know something or aren't sure... get a little more creative and engage the person with whom you are communicating rather than slap an idk on the conversation like hot pink duct tape. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like Cher, but a lot less adorable.

P.S. - You DO know.
P.P.S. - If you don't think you know, dig deeper. Ask questions. Clueless isn't cute. It's without a clue. And life and people are filled with clues... become a detective and ask. Learn. Grow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RealiZe? Yanks, IDK!