I’m not sure when it became cool to use the word “cool,” but it was sometime after my parents’ childhoods and sometime before I hit high school. I think it was about the time we started saying “rad,” and also about the same time people who said, “gag me with a spoon” started getting beat up after school.
Something happened to rad, though, and it was out like a hypercolor t-shirt. (I never personally owned anything hypercolor, and as no one wears hypercolor today, I like to consider my 80s self incredibly ahead of the times.)
So…why did cool stay and rad have to go?
And have you noticed that rad is coming back? I noticed that around the same time I noticed myself wearing belts on top of oversized shirts, which I still don’t fully understand.
I turned to Urban Dictionary for answers.
cool: The best way to say something is neat-o, awesome, or swell. The phrase "cool" is very relaxed, never goes out of style, and people will never laugh at you for using it, very convenient for people like me who don’t care about what’s "in."
rad: an abbreviation of ‘radical’–a term made popular by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Still primarily used by people on the West Coast who find words like ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, and ‘tight’ to be tired and overused; ‘rad’ is generally considered to be a much higher praise than the aforementioned superlatives.
So tell me…are you an always-in-style, play-it-safe COOL or a trendy yet risky RAD?*
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Polenta triangles with parsley pesto, roasted butternut squash, and balsamic fig reduction
Cherry almond bars
February is gray. February is depressing. It’s much more fun to set up intense debates on cool vs. rad than blog about living in a gray gray gray gray world.