Here at the News we pride ourselves in being in the know when it comes to popular culture. Personally, I have never considered myself too old to be out of the loop when it comes to language and colloquialisms - but I could be wrong.
As I inch closer to the big 3-0, I find myself more and more becoming one of those old guys who can still kind of look young but is completely out of touch with what's really going on. Like the last guy to wear a Members Only jacket - how embarrassing.
I desperately try to stay hip but, oddly enough, there aren't many programs on CNN that keep you up to date with the latest in slang or the newest music - for that matter there aren't many programs on MTV anymore that keep you up to date on music either.
I haven't really given much thought to my inevitable slide into the great beyond until last week when, before my very eyes, I received a copy of four slang terms. None of which have I ever seen and, not until trying them out last week, have ever used, and I will never use them among my usual company either.
I promise in this column that today will be the last time I use these words in public - don't worry none seem to have any disgraceful connotations; they only seem humorous to me because of the sheer absurdity of their being.
The first new slang term for us in the newsroom, and probably the most contentious of the lot, is salty. It was discussed in the newsroom that only women can be referred to as salty, but according to the definition I received for salty it seems it is an equal-opportunity word to describe someone who is upset, embarrassed or indignant as a result of humiliation or wrong-doing by another person.
Oh, by the way, the word list and definitions were found by Mandi Singer, our photographer, while on assignment at Sharp Learning Center. They were part of a display on a wall in the school. It seems that Anthony Dow is actually the creator of the list of terms and each definition.
Salty could probably describe most anybody on staff here as deadline approaches, male or female, and has been thrown around quite often since its News discovery.
A second, but equally as descriptive and humorous, slang term beastin' has gotten just as much or more play here in the newsroom. Beastin', which describes someone who has had an unnecessarily extreme reaction or is making a big deal out of nothing, is a crowd favorite - don't worry examples will follow so if you're not exactly sure how to use the words, then allow me just a few more paragraphs before you get salty and start demanding more explanation.
The third, and most ambiguous selection, is jawn. Jawn, according to the slang definitions, is a word used by "Philly cats" to describe anything and everything. What a catch-all. I'm not exactly sure how to fit this one into every day conversation, but I've tried. If nothing else, it may have brought a few smiles to the faces of the folks here at work and maybe to a few friends during telephone conversations.
Last, but not least, is greasy. Greasy is the act of talking slick or being smart-mouthed. We've got a lot folks here in the newsroom that like to get greasy and often times more than one at a time get greasy.
I attempted during the week to incorporate my new vocabulary into as many situations and sentences as possible, and when possible I even used all four in one sentence or in one thought at least.
Ergo - Stop beastin' before I get salty. If you weren't so greasy everything would be jawn. (Not sure if that works, but then again no one here can tell me if I'm wrong.)
In effect, I've told this person to stop making a big deal out of something before I get upset, and if they weren't so smart mouthed maybe everything would be great. Jawn is my wildcard in this sentence. It can mean whatever I want it to - that is if I understand the definition correctly.
Four little words can open up an entirely new world to a person, at least for a week any way.
Using them in sentences probably only shows my age and in no way really makes me any younger (I do feel a couple of days younger though). Just don't start beastin' on me for trying to bring back the Members Only jacket. Hey they were really cool in 1987.
Robby Byrd is the editor of The Covington News. He can be reached at rbyrd@covnews.