Mighty Red Pen

January 14, 2008

Too cool for school

Filed under: Word wars — mighty red pen @ 6:21 pm

Uncovered this amusing article about the continuing cool of cool.

 “Cool” remains the gold standard of slang in the 21st century, as reliable as a blue-chip stock, surviving like few expressions ever in the constantly evolving English language. It has kept its cool through the centuries, even as its meaning changed drastically.

Personally, awesome remains MRP’s favorite retro-slang term. What about you? You for rad, far out, or totally tubular? Right on — it’s cool.



  1. I’m all about cool, but the word gnarly has an interesting, twisted history.

    Hot is another usually long-lived slang term: in the sense of “excellent or fashionable” it goes back to the mid-19th century, earlier even than the equivalent sense of cool.

    Comment by Dan — January 14, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  2. *unusually, not usually

    Comment by Dan — January 14, 2008 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  3. Um… okay.

    Comment by Blue — January 15, 2008 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve always been partial to the word “awesome,” too…

    Comment by The Grammarphile — January 15, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  5. I am partial to totally, but I drop the tubular.

    Comment by Molie — January 15, 2008 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  6. “Cool” wins, because when you release the word the right way it’s onomatopoeic. Oh, and this:

    Marge: Am I cool, kids?
    Bart and Lisa: No.
    Marge: Good. I’m glad. And that’s what makes me cool—not caring, right?
    Bart and Lisa: No.
    Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we’ve tried everything here.
    Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you’re truly cool, you don’t need to be told you’re cool.
    Bart: Well, sure you do.
    Lisa: How else would you know?

    Comment by Helen's Dad — January 15, 2008 @ 10:07 pm | Reply

  7. But here’s my question, Dan: what about hott?

    Comment by mightyredpen — January 16, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

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