Goofy or Dorky?

What is a dork?

Well, the dictionary defines a dork thusly: “a dull, slow-witted, or socially inept person”. Also, a dork is a penis.

 

What is a goofy person?

Again, the dictionary defines a goofy person as: “ridiculous; silly; wacky; nutty”

 

This is where it gets complicated.

Slang.

Goofy means pretty much the same thing in terms of slang. Odd, tolerably awkward, silly, bizarre, eccentric, intelligent but lacking common sense at times.

Dorky, however, changes the meaning of “dork” to something different when used as slang. Intelligent, fangirls or the male equivalent over things, silly, clumsy, odd.

 

 

Once we hit slang, both dorky and goofy mean a person who is totally fine with being odd and silly, who doesn’t care what others think.

This annoys me. And I thought I’d share my irritation of it with you.

Why does it annoy me?

Because! Dork is a negative word. Goofy is not. Adding a “y” to dorky doesn’t make it positive. It makes it the negative equivalent of goofy.

 

When people say a person is dorky, don’t you just feel in their tone of voice, body language, and overall vibe that they’re putting someone down? That they’re laughing at them in a cruel manner?

Maybe it’s just me. But when someone says dorky, I see it as a put-down.

Goofy, however, is a positive outlook on someone off the beaten path. People typically say it in a way that says they think the person they’re describing as goofy is whimsical and silly, saying it in a lighthearted and fun-loving manner.

I feel like dorky is an insult. Like someone is calling you a loser for being so different and weird.

And goofy is a celebration of a person’s willingness to be silly and childlike. Fully themselves even if it doesn’t meet someone’s mold.

 

 

Anywho.

That’s randomly been a pet peeve of mine for quite a while now.

But I believe words and their affixed meanings are important. When I ask people what they think goofy and dorky mean, I get hilariously different answers. I find a degradation of words and their meanings is spreading across society quicker than I make a run for donuts. We shrug it off when it’s little words like this, but what is communication if we all think we mean something different than what we mean?

Maybe it depends on the people you hang out with or where you live. I mean, I think in some places in the U.S. a “goofy” actually means a snitch.

What do you think?

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