DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Yes, crunk is a word, may God have mercy on our souls

Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 10:25am
Ladies and Gentlemen: let’s get crunk. I am crunk. Despite that fact that at this very moment my Microsoft Word spell checker is telling me there’s something wrong, I am still crunk. Why so crunk? Because today the wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster officially crowned crunk a part of the English language. Crunk is no longer relegated to a slang term. According to the good people at Merriam-Webster, crunk can be an adjective, as in to “get crunk” or a “crunk party” or it can be a noun, i.e., “put on some crunk,” or “the princess of crunk and B.” While the wordsmiths disagree about the etymology of the word’s various parts of speech –the entry says the adjective form was conceived in 1995, while the noun appeared first in 2000 – we can all agree it’s a good day to get crunk. This direct from the people at Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: crunk
Part of Speech: adj
Definition: exciting and fun; energized as if crazy and drunk
Example: The party will be crunk.
Etymology: 1995; hip-hop and rap usage
Usage: slang


Main Entry: crunk
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a style of hip-hop or rap music featuring repetitive shouting of phrases accompanied by electronic sound
Example: The first notable crunk single was “Get Crunked Up” by Iconz.
Etymology: 2000
Usage: slang

As both a proponent of proper speech and an aficionado of Ebonics, I’m not quite sure how to feel about this one. I’m torn. Torn between my love for Lil Jon’s “Crunk Juice,” “Get some crunk in your system,” “Get crunk,” “Kings of crunk,” “Certified crunk” and a myriad of others and my general disdain for words, like crunk, that are really just an amalgamation of two words that already exist, in this case crazy and drunk. There seem to be a bevy of malcontents hell-bent on adulterating what we now know as the English language, and the folks at Merriam-Webster seem to be just cozy letting it happen. Not only that, they’re making it easier and easier. It’s almost impossible to correct someone now because, “that’s not a word” is just no longer true.I’m also torn because if crunk is a word, what next? Ginormous? Oh wait, that happened today too.

Yes, ginormous officially became a part of the English language on this historic day. Combining giant and enormous into a contraction without an apostrophe. Other words that were also added: smackdown, i.e. the wrestling show, dvr – the recording device, telenovela – the Latin American soap opera, microgreen – a shot of a standard salad plant, and IED – improvised explosive device. For a few of these I’m not quite sure why we need to make acronyms into words, but that’s another discussion for another day.

The majority of the dissent seems to stem from the inclusion of ginormous as an English word. According to a Chicago Tribune article one English professor at the illustrious Macmurray College in Jacksonville, FL, was beside himself with indignity, “A new word that stands out and is ostentatious is going to sink like a lead balloon,” he said. The president of Merriam Webster, however, disagreed, stating “There will be linguistic conservatives who will turn their nose up at a word like ‘ginormous. But it’s become a part of our language.”

Imagine the possibilities now that crunk is a certified English noun/adjective. You could use it in your academic research, “Isaac Newton was emphatically crunk after the apple fell onto his head because it led him to his three laws of gravity.” Or one could even try, “While perhaps a little less crunk about their return to academia, the convocation could hardly be called somber.”

I’m just excited because now I can use crunk in scrabble. And in the future when I write articles including the phrase “get some crunk in your system” I won’t have to hear from any of those little nitpickers and staunch upholders of the English language. So go forth and tell your Academic Writing professor that you were late to class because you got crunked up last night. Or explain to your boss that what you just gave him is certified crunk.

As I sit here and type Microsoft Word has highlighted each and every use of crunk, ginormous and all the others. How do I explain to my poor friend that he’s simply behind the times? In these dark times of the war on terror, global warming, high gas prices, escalating inflation and general opprobrium I think a little crunk was just what America needed. Thanks Merriam Webster. I think I’ll get some crunk juice.


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