Of “Drive Safe”

Road Sign.

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There are certain phrases we all say. Words that function like muscle memory. That are spoken without our brain having any choice in the discussion. So we say them, someone else says the appropriate words in response, and we continue on our way.

The phrase that I’ve been noticing the most, as of late, is drive safe.

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Okay, bye!”

Why do we say that? Do we honestly think that if we don’t tell them to drive safe that something horrid is going to happen to them? That they’ll be driving along and they’ll think to themselves, I wonder what would happen if I turned the steering wheel really fast – oh wait, I’m supposed to drive safe. That’s not very safe. Thanks friend.

The words are merely a filler, in the way that we ask acquaintances how they’re doing expecting to hear the response, “I’m fine.” Sometimes words are just that, things we say because it’s the cultural norm, it’s expected, and we don’t even realize we do it. So I’ve started saying different words:

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Damn, I was gonna drive ninety and backwards.”

Or

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive dangerously!”

“Haha …… okay?”

I always get an awkward chuckle in response, suddenly, I’m seen as incredibly witty. And for what? Breaking our prescribed script. Changing up the normal conversation. If we all switched around our dialogue then one day simply saying, “Okay, bye,” would be seen as bizarre.

But what I find the most fascinating is that my changed words have become my script – it’s an inescapable cycle of habit.

Road Sign Swerve

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Of Bizarre Slang

Groovy

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Everyone uses slang, that’s not a shocking declaration. Whether it be the slang of the overall population (such as groovy back in the day), or unique to a small social circle (like my former roommate who referred to awesome things as filthy). Slang is everywhere. Which is fine, I have no ill feelings towards the use of slang, as it does say something about our culture that we won’t fully realize till what’s commonly said changes. And yes, I’m excited look back on movies and records to see how we’ve evolved verbally. But I do have issues with myself, more specifically, when I notice what I’m always saying.

Do you ever find yourself saying a particular word or phrase all the time? And no matter how much you would like to stop saying those words, you frequently catch yourself repeating them over and over until you annoy you? I have. And I must say, little is more frustrating than annoying yourself. At least when someone else is dumb, or is failing to articulate themselves properly, I have the option of walking away. I can’t walk away from me, unless I want to get belligerently drunk and blackout for a night – which, I have zero desire to do.

My whole life at some point I’ve notice my own personal slang, but by the time it changes I can’t remember what the hell it was. You’d think I’d be gleeful that those words were gone, but alas it is equally as annoying to not remember what they were. If for nothing else, reminiscing purposes. It’s like when a songs stuck in your head and then you suddenly forgot what it was. Or when one lyric is playing on repeat and you don’t know what the rest of the words are.

So for that reason, I can’t inform you of The Slang of Sarah’s Past. But I can tell you what I’m saying now: gracious and aiight.

Could there be two more diverse words to frequent my vocabulary? “Gracious,” is something a ninety-year-old lady says to herself whilst simultaneously gasping when seeing a scandalous sight, such as two gays kissing or a girl showing her ankles. “Aiight,” is what wannabe gangsters say when they agree, or are down with something, but they’re too lazy to use real words. By generation alone those two words do not belong together. Yet, my tongue has brought them together in bizarre harmony, often at the same time, “Gracious, that was crazy. Aiight, let’s go!”

I don’t know what my future slang will be, but I promise, whatever my brain settles on will inevitably annoy me – just like it always has.

Notice your own slang yet?