Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fuck "To Hook Up"

The expression "to hook up" did not exist in a sexual context until recently; it can't be more than ten-years-old and is definitely a phrase used in such a context almost exclusively by our youthful, sexually blossomed generation.

Yet this word's infancy leaves its meaning ambiguous. I can't figure out what the hell it means. As if the "baseball" euphemism--changing definitions depending on how old the speaker is or where the user came from--weren't ambiguous enough, now we've got a word that people exchange all the time, yet have given no explicit definition and use in a context where no definition can be drawn. Here's a few places where the line could be drawn:

Holding hands?
Making out?
Do shirts have to come off?
Does some action with the naughty bits have to go on?

...or is the term exclusively for fucking? One friend gave me that definition, but that seems like the word is thrown around a little too frequently and would be more appropriate if the definition was more lenient.

So, enough of this speculation, and on to what the REST of the internet speculates. The American Heritage Dictionary says:
hook up
1. To assemble or wire (a mechanism).
2. To connect a mechanism and a source of power.
3. Slang
a. To meet or associate: We agreed to hook up after class. He hooked up with the wrong crowd.
b. To become romantically or sexually involved with someone.
c. To marry or get married.

So I can throw out 1 and 2, and if 3a were the definition I was looking for, everyone would be hooking up, all the time, everyday, and that just doesn't make sense. 3c isn't valid either, otherwise most this campus would be married, and it isn't.

3b seems to be what I'm looking for, but it remains ambiguous. What exactly is romantically involved? What if you exchange some suggestive glances back and forth? That's not hooking up.

Apparently, I'm not the only one this confused.

The most decisive place I've seen is here, and it seems pretty clear that the majority of folks agree hook-up means sex, but the Urban Dictionary definitions clearly point in both directions, even the top rated ones.

I'm just going to avoid this word all together. If anyone uses it, I'm asking for a definition. In its place--when I speak--I'm using making-out and fucking. I think those words have pretty clear definitions, and I like being clear.


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