Enough of this. Can we all stop using the 'adjective' "wanky"? I'm all for the evolution of language and all that, and actioning things sounds like a great laugh, but there's a line between organically refining our communications, and pointless bandwagoning*. Language as I see it has a dual purpose - information, and social cohesion, these haven't changed since prehistory.
Information: "Oh no, a tiger! Look out!"
Social Cohesion: "Hey, do you remember that tiger? That was so rad, man."
Both are wholly legitimate. The species survives through awareness of the environment, and successful mating and group action. Therefore, I'd like to suggest that language 'evolves' when it a) becomes better able to describe the subject (external, internal, real or metaphysical - and one can see this is equally applicable in a creative sense), or b) better facilitates social cohesion by helping two people think in the same way, or feel some sort of empathy.
Wanky, to me, does neither of these. It has a couple of attractive qualities for the user:
- It says "I don't like this, but it's beyond my mental capacity and/or inclination to tell you why". What are you being paid to do, for fuck's sake?
- It does that whole low-level-swearing that people find edgy and cool nowadays. Good for you, Bill Hicks. You tell them.
My contention is that it's not only inefficient, but actively damaging to the discourse. Why care? First and foremost, because I'm a sentimental and pernickety young fool.
Secondly, it fucks up the way you think. George Orwell suggested that:
"...it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts"
Language is our door to understanding and empathy. Please, try not to treat it like a catflap.
...and if you must have 'foolish thoughts', make them original.
*see, I'm perfectly capable of verbifying a noun when I need to.