Yesterday sucked.  Here is proof.

At breakfast, I sat at the kitchen counter, watching The Today Show, when a commercial came on for a smoking cessation device.  The voice-over said “Stopping smoking sucks.  Make it suck less.”

I thought, “Huh!  That seems pretty daring for daytime TV.”

Half an hour later, puttering around and putting off productivity as long as possible,  I drifted to the couch to flip through the current Newsweek.   There was an article in the MOVIES department called How Swede it Is, by Jennie Yabroff.  The author talked about how the Swedish film Let The Right One In is currently being remade.  “The film hasn’t been released, but howls of protest are already ricocheting around cyberspace, where the concensus is that remakes inevitably suck.”  I thought “Et tu, NEWSWEEK?”

Final example (and I truly am not telescoping time to make this a better anecdote) – sometime around noon I was googling Avenue Q to see if it might be appropriate for all of us to go see over spring break.  There’s a song in the show, sung by Muppet-like puppets, called It Sucks to be Me.

Yesterday was an unholy trinity of sucking.  A hat trick.  A trifecta.  The word officially lost its taboo status, for me, on February 25, 2010.  If Newsweek, NBC, and fuzzy, though subversive,  Muppets are all saying it, it no longer has the power to shock.

Of course I remember the original derivation of the word.  Lots of kids today probably think it is merely synonomous with “rotten.” 

I’m not naive…. I know the root meaning, if you will.  I also know that words lose their moorings over time.

Case in point.  Years ago, my father in law had a visceral reaction to hearing his college-age daughter refer to some guy as a “scumbag.”  He railed that she must never use that word again.  Stunned, she asked why.  “Because!”  he hissed.  “It means used condom!”

This was a revelation.  That’s what the word meant to a GI trading cigarettes for chocolates after D-Day, perhaps, but not to a young girl prancing in a Lanz nightgown in a 1980s dormitory.  The word had morphed completely, transforming from soggy Trojan to scuzzy two-timer.

For years, I’ve heard my friends react with horror when their children have said something “sucks.”  As is my lassez faire wont, I have mostly shrugged.  I pick my battles, and tilting at the windmill labeled “suck’ is not one of them.  I’m also lazy, and this fight was a loser from the beginning.

And now, it appears, I am not alone.  Sucking has officially infiltrated the mainstream media. 

Somehow, I feel both better and worse about that.

And you?  What word do you hate to hear come out of the mouth of a modern child?  Where do you stand on the sucking question?
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