It has been my habit the past few years to use the word “dude” in conversation and in the occasional email. There is one gentleman with whom I am well acquainted that this particular noun is the first word uttered in every conversation. Upon the hearing of this word, there is no further need of identification. This habit has, among many of the people with whom I have frequent contact, become the greeting of the day. The word has become part of my vocabulary only in the past few years. Its use has recently caused me some degree of consternation to the extent that I have considered a cessation of its use.
I am a moderately frequent user of Facebook™ and I am known in certain circles to make comment as to one or more of my friend’s activities. I am also known to post what has become known as the “Bad pun of the day.” On one particular morning as I was perusing the activities of my Facebook friends, I noticed a short post from a friend of mine. This friend is well-known to me as he is the one who has the sole responsibility of protecting my home from the dreaded termite hordes. His name is Rob and he is a gentleman of the highest quality. This particular day, he posted an intention to some strange activity the likes of which I no longer remember. I seem to recall that his plan had a feminine tone. The post on the wall elicited the question from me “Uh, dude?” It was my intention to inquire why one would take the now forgotten weird decision that was being written about. I posted my question using the sarcasm font and went on my merry way.
Later that day, I was back on Facebook in the hopes of finding that all of my friends had had days of exquisite joy and fulfillment. I noticed that somebody named Toni had written on my wall with the simple exclamation “Dude? I’m not a dude.” I was, of course, puzzled by the comment and wondered who this Toni was. Further investigation revealed that Toni was Rob’s new bride and I had actually posted my earlier question “Uh dude?” on her wall in the mistaken belief that she was Rob. I had committed the almost unforgivable act of referring to a young woman as “dude” instead of the far more appropriate “dudette.” I reported the incident to Rob at the first opportunity but he already knew and thought it tremendously funny.
The “running gag” now is Toni’s nickname is “dude.” I expect that she may very well change her Facebook profile to reflect her new nickname.
@Toni – Dude (sarcasm font)