Students’ Vocabulary Goes Down the “Tube”

The words heady and dank are being used on campus way too much, not to mention incorrectly.

Lately, there has been a growing trend affecting the students of this campus.

It has been noticeable while waiting in line at Cook Commons, while watching an exhilarating game of ultimate Frisbee or when you’re literally breathing down the neck of some complete stranger while you’re packed in on the Redstone Express.

The change has been a noticeable increase in the use of the words “dank” and “heady” among students.

The Webster Dictionary defines the word dank as: (adj.) unpleasantly damp, humid, moist; and the term heady as: (adj.) willful, rash, violent, impetuous.

It is unfathomable why anyone would use a term describing the conditions of a cave or a psychotic dictator to describe something positively.

While the two words can be used in many different forms they are mainly used as adjectives, most often abused by dragging out the pronunciation of the word, adding “man” after it and then a slow, inebriated chuckle to finish off the statement. Example: “That was so daaaaaaank, man hehehe.” Now imagine Jim Breuer saying that and think about how he’s not actually that funny.

No definite ideas of where, when or how these two words trickled their way into our vernacular – but one can speculate that they most likely were birthed sometime during Phish’s `98 east coast tour and within the drug trade (which has remained steady on this campus even with the introduction of new stiffer penalties on campus).

The two words are used to refer to above average products and their potency. But they have been commonly appearing in people’s conversations, other than your local drug dealer, applying to everything from how many Umphery’s McGee shows you can fit on the iPod Nano you’re getting for Christmas, to describing that bowl of “Pasta Pronto” you had for dinner at Simpson.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have caught myself uttering these two phrases before; it’s ingrained in your subconscious just by attending UVM.

You can’t help yourself. One minute you’re talking to your friend about the Laguna Beach season finale, the next you’re using “heady” to describe how comfortable that obnoxious red pair of Crocs you just bought downtown are.

While I do understand that every generation has had its own slang that it can be associated with (I’ll save you the trite stereotypes here: groovy, far-out, daddio etc), will Generation Y be remembered for the words “dank” and “heady”?

I sure hope not.

I remember the days when I was regularly using the phrase “da bomb” to describe the Ma$e album that was getting heavy rotation in my stereo in sixth grade; I can now look back on it and think how dumb I sounded. Yeah, I was young, but I should have had more sense then that. What the hell does “da bomb” even mean?

How did white suburban kids accept it as a battle cry? I still don’t know the answers to these questions. I have a sense that in five years we’ll look back on these two phrases and we’ll feel the same way that Neil Young does when he reflects back on his electronica album “Trans.”

But I do know one thing, we need to stop this horrible beast before it gets any worse, and trust me it can and most likely will. For one thing, the words will start showing up everywhere, ad executives will pick up on this “fad” and before you know it you’ll be buying some form of Mountain Dew with the word “Heady” on the can to describe how “extreme” it is.

But the worst possible thing, and I guarantee this will happen, would be when your parents start using “dank” and “heady” in a vain effort to regain their youth.

I can just see the image now; your whole family is sitting around the table for dinner and your father turns to your mother and says “Gee honey that sure was some dank casserole.”

Think about that the next time you’re about to say either “heady” or “dank.”