When Did Suck Become Okay?

May 21, 2010

Dropped off Sparkly Hubby at work due to a minor car malfunction. On the XM? His favorite news program: CNBC. Keep in mind, I’m a Fox news girl, but it was on, so I listened.  An announcer commented on a story, and used the term “that really sucked.”  It piqued me.  Then he used it again, same context, next sentence.  That did me in.

Now, I’m supposed to be writing so I’ll make this quick (I’m good at that). I’d like to know: “when did the word “sucked” become mainstream?” 

I’ve heard it often– news commentators, radio personalities, everyday conversation — even my favorite librarian at the downtown branch. Kelly Clarkson sings that her life would suck without me.  Well, that’s getting a little too personal, and to be perfectly honest, I really don’t know Kelly that well.  Still, does all this mean saying something sucks is okay?  Is this the bottom of the word barrel?  Perhaps Webster or Oxford and the rest of the word dandies gave suck a greenlight.  I must have missed the announcement.

I looked up sucked on thesaurus.com, one of my all time favorite websites.  Though dictionary.doc acknowledges the use of sucked as slang, my friend the thesaurus ignores it, as if it will go away real soon.

When did it become *okay* to use  slang, wavering around the derogatory area of colloquialisms? Is to too darn hard to say, “it’s terrible that you dropped your iPhone into the Lake,” or “the fact that I wrecked your new Prius makes me feel terrible.”  Or, “the sushi could have been fresher.”  Do we really have to tell our mother or father, co-worker or lover, that our day, hamburger, drive to O’Hare really, breath, sucked?

Well, maybe everything except the drive to O’hare, which really does suck . . .

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2 Responses to “When Did Suck Become Okay?”

  1. Lara Ehrlich said

    Hi Helen! I’m excited to see that you have a blog–and I love it 🙂 I agree with you about “suck.” I actually hate that word, though I suppose that it can be used sparingly to make a very specific impact. Gym sucked. The drive to O’Hare DEFINITELY sucks!

  2. Lara, you are the first comment from my newly de-lurked blog! Now, that definitely doesn’t suck.

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