“Turnt” Is NOT a Word!

One word. One blasted word: Turnt.

I despise it. I really do. Why?

Let’s begin with the term itself: IT IS NOT GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. In fact, it doesn’t even exist in the dictionary (and I’m talking about an actual dictionary, not the ghetto “Urban Dictionary”). Even as I’m writing this, auto correct is giving me the red squiggly line underneath the word, to indicate that I’m possibly misspelling something. Turnt turnt turnt. Seriously, it reminds me of “burnt.” Which the word is really going to scorch up in Hell for after I’m through with it.

I suspect that “turnt” evolved from the word “turned,” in the context of “turned up,” meaning to get wild and party and all of that jazz. It just sounds so…stupid. It’s as if you aren’t even making an effort at all to articulate yourself, eliding the “-ed” ending into a “t” when, really, it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to process “turned,” instead of “turnt.”

I also hate the fact that it is being used by my generation, specifically those in the 13-to-30 category. I especially hear it used by high school and college students, which makes me just want to crawl into a hole and die from these people’s stupidity. Okay, well…stupid in the sense that they are purposefully making themselves look stupid. Seriously, since when was it admirable to look like a dumb-ass? For attention? Yeah, people do end up paying attention to you, but not for the right reasons. They pay attention to you, because you give ’em something to make fun of, not for admiration. Even worse, you’re giving them something to bounce off of, creating a chain of wannabe ratchet individuals that will bring shame and dishonor to our already shameful and dishonorable youth institution.

For me, “turnt” is associated with a couple of words: youth and technology. We’re living in the 21st century, and depending how you see it, our language is rapidly evolving for the better or for the worse. A purist might say that all of these catchphrases and colloquialisms are destroying the fundamentals of what the English language has been established on, “dumbing down” our youth, while his adversary might counteract by claiming that the evolution of language is inevitable, just as how technology is inevitable. Things are being spread more quickly than ever, through news, social media, and forums- all online. Including the word “turnt.”

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a total purist. I’m all for expressing myself through lingoes and other idiomatic expressions pertinent to my age group. I see them as shortcuts to quickly get down to the point that I want to express, with friends and peers. Phrases like “I know, right?” or “I get you, man” are effortless placeholders for conveying, quick and simple, a feeling or sentiment.

But expressions like “turnt” just make my toes curl. ‘Cause I see it as like the other shorted expressions popping up all over chat-speak. Take this, for example: I cringe when I see “lol” (laughing out loud). I think this abbreviation/acronym/whatever it is has lost complete meaning within the past few years, due to over-use. I highly doubt that you are really “laughing out loud” I what I just said, or wrote. I don’t even think what I said was even that funny (“You look good!” “Thanks lol”)! That’s why I try to avoid using words like “lol” to express myself online. I’m reluctant even to use “haha.” Like “lol,” “turnt” has lost all meaning, if there was a meaning to begin with.

“Turnt” also gives us teenagers and twenty-something-year-olds a bad rep, for being party animals, reckless and defiant, and constantly “turned up” on drugs like pills and alcohol. It’s just not a good representation; many of us aren’t like that. Or at least, aren’t always like that. We also lead good lives, going to school, working, paying rent, like other adults out there. It’s just that, with this one word, it wipes out all respect for us. We aren’t taken seriously, even when we want to be so.

Every time you say the word “turnt,” a part of me just shrivels up and dies. From embarrassment. I feel sorry for you, and I feel sorry for myself, for being associated with your stupidity. Give dignity a chance, and save us from the decline of humanity, I implore you.

– The Finicky Cynic



11 thoughts on ““Turnt” Is NOT a Word!

  1. Teenagers have messed up the language, which makes people think that we’re messed up too. But the language evolving is also inevitable, as you said. Such expressions, they’ve stopped making sense or gone out of context.
    I can agree with every point you have there. Great post!

    1. Good points yourself! There’s definitely a connection between language and how we’re perceived when we use it. It’s hard not to judge, but again, like you said, it’s inevitable. Even I, who is part of this demographic of slang users, am critical of how our vernacular has evolved in this day and age. True, “dumb expressions” won’t ever go away, but hopefully some will go out of fashion (like “turnt”).

      1. You mean “turnt?” Or “yolo?” Yes, both have some use for describing specifics, but otherwise I think there are other ways to do so as well. Not necessarily as quick or cool, but still possible regardless.

  2. I’m of college-age so I hear this word being used pretty often. At first, I thought anyone who said “turnt” used it jokingly. But then I realized people were seriously using it to mean “get drunk” and I just don’t understand why…

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