At first, I thought it was an Australian phrase – I must have initially noticed my friends from Down Under using it in their speech. But then my daughter’s peers regularly said it, and often. Before I knew it, I heard any form of “that’s random” sprinkled in conversations from children and adults to celebrities and business people. What’s with everything being so “random?”
It’s basically the new catchphrase of the moment, although I understand it’s been around for longer than I realized (it seems that trends reach us in China a little later than back home). It works often as a filler word – remember when “like” and “totally” were used several times in one sentence?
Catchphrases often start with celebrity use, be it in movies or television. They are repeated often and passed around by word-of-mouth, ultimately becoming official as a buzz word/phrase of the moment. I’ve been in business meetings when I’ve started to count how many times people from all different backgrounds use “random” in their comments, and I hear it from students and teachers alike when I sub at school. I’ve even caught myself saying it, although it comes out sounding more like some nerd trying to be cool. I guess I should consider myself lucky that the word is “random,” therefore it can be used quite randomly.
Chillax. Dude. Yada, yada, yada. Think outside the box. That’s hot. Whatever. Talk to the hand. Groovy. Cool. Take a chill pill. Just Google catchphrases and you’ll see there are many categories to choose from – by movies, by decade, most popular, most annoying, etc. “Random” is trendy like all of the above and more. Just searching on flickr to find an image appropriate for this topic I saw there were no fewer than 230,563 possibilities for the word. And were they ever random. From the opening image, to this:
…the definition of random certainly is as such. On June 5, 2011 America’s Disney Channel premiered the teen program “So Random.” Googling the topic brings over one million links to explore, and I’m sure YouTube has a tremendous number as well (I can’t confirm that because my VPN isn’t working again, it’s so random…is that right?!).
I still say “cool” to many things, and I’m sure my speech includes out-of-date phrases that I don’t even notice I use anymore. They also make my daughters tilt their heads in utter confusion if not cringe with embarrassment. Can you imagine the endless catchphrases we could all recall if we sat down to brainstorm a bit? We’re likely not even sure how we started to use them in our speech. Some are comical, some make us cringe, and others…well, we’d probably agree that they are just random.