Aaron Scheetz, Lode Writer

Well damn, here we go again. I have written at least three damn articles today and I still have half of the workday left to go. 

Have you ever been in a conversation where you just don’t know what to say? Have you ever been too hungover to actively participate in a conversation but still want to show that you’re interested? Well look no further because DAMN do I have the right word for you! 

Everyone has their own favorite word whether they know it or not. My favorite word happens to be an involuntary utterance that occurs when I am annoyed, sad, confused, in an awkward situation, or when I don’t know what else to say. The word “damn,” not to be confused with its water-holding, beaver-induced cousin “dam,” has its origins in either Latin or middle English depending on where you look. Over the course of time, different cultures take hold of their favorite or most useful words, allowing the spelling and meaning to drastically change. Thankfully, the world has chosen to keep the meaning of one of its most useful words clear and unchanged throughout the ages.

There are a few disputed routes on how the word was formed but the most common acceptance of damn that we will use for the sake of this article are as follows, 

damnum->damnar->->damner->dampnen-> to what we now know as DAMN pronounced /dæm/

Up until the 1930s, damn was considered a very profane and explicit term rarely used in polite conversation. Maybe it was the United States’ entrance into the second world war that caused everyone to take a step back, collectively sigh, and say “Damn…” that caused its use to become more acceptable in common culture, and because of this it is now only considered “mildly profane.”

The word throughout its relatively short history has experienced a variety of differing definitions but mainly stays rooted in the biblical sense to condemn or convict. A word as versatile as “damn” can be used as a transitive verb, an exclamation, an adjective, or as an adverb. It is such a small word that holds so much meaning, meaning which is solely based on your intonation and inflection. Each person who uses it creates the word anew. I could tell someone, “Damn, you’re really wearing that to the Dog?” and just based on how I say that single word, I could hurt their feelings or totally hype them up for a night on the town at the classiest place in Downtown Houghton. 

“Damn” is and forever will be my favorite word. I hope you have gained a new appreciation for arguably the most useful term in existence