Posted by JSYL on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 in
Below is a long arts-student discussion on uni messageboards about the word 'meh', and the English language's fall from grace in modern society. Who knew one word (a word I use at least 10 times a day) could generate so much outrage and interest and Simpsons references? Long read but well worth it. I've removed names of all authors except my own at the request of the mediator.

Created on Friday, 10/13/2006 4:26 PM

Can we stop with the meh? I don't even know what it means and it is epidemic.

Comments (36) by Jane Lee
Hey that's my word! Its not SUPPOSED to have a meaning that's why its so great...its the word you say when there's nothing left to say, when you can't be bothered caring anymore...a mix between a shrug and a defeated sigh...there are no words! Just 'meh'. Better than having valley girls running around saying 'whatever'...that is SO 90s =p

Friday, 10/13/2006 5:37 PM

Friday, 10/13/2006 6:30 PM
Ha Ha I hate it too Jenna! It is irritating...

Friday, 10/13/2006 8:08 PM
I've got another version, Blehh, I had that on my year 12 jersey (much to the annoyance of many who had no idea what it meant). Jane: I agree it is great because it holds no significance for anyone else, very fun trying to explain what it means.

Friday, 10/13/2006 9:13 PM by
I think they used that word a lot on seinfield

Friday, 10/13/2006 9:19 PM by
Theres a Simpsons that explains the way to use meh.

Friday, 10/13/2006 10:14 PM
Perhaps you could give us a summary, Paddy . . .

Friday, 10/13/2006 10:46 PM
Homer: Kids... how would you... like to go to... Blocko Land!? Lisa/Bart: Meh Homer: But... the TV gave me the impression tha.. Bart: We said "meh" Lisa: M-e-h. Meh.

Saturday, 10/14/2006 3:37 AM
Let us try something else. Jah? Kah? Bah? Sah? Jeh? I prefer bah!

Saturday, 10/14/2006 7:58 AM
Jane, meh is sooooo not your word. I like pfft better. Although when you say it there's a change of spraying someone in the face.

Saturday, 10/14/2006 8:39 AM

Saturday, 10/14/2006 12:08 PM
I hate 'meh'.. honestly, can people not put together a small array of words to describe how they're feeling rather than a hideous, crass sound that does nothing but completely undermine their intelligence. On re-reading about I sound VERY angry... I'm not that angry.

Saturday, 10/14/2006 4:59 PM
Is anyone else thinking there might be a connection between the (much maligned) findings on youth apathy and the use of 'meh'? Are we the 'meh' generation?

Sunday, 10/15/2006 5:32 PM
that is very amusing. and it appears to be spelled correctly.

Sunday, 10/15/2006 6:03 PM
well, speaking of the meh generation, apathy and everything meh related, Paddy raised a good point with the Simpsons. And it links all this together. LISA: We're the MTV Generation. We feel neither highs nor lows. HOMER: Really? What's it like? LISA: Meh... There you go. Simpsons has the answers - and the definitions!

Sunday, 10/15/2006 8:54 PM
I was under the impression that 'meh' had been whittled out of conversation for a while now because so many people came to loathe it.. apparently not! It was all the rage in year 10.

Monday, 10/16/2006 3:58 PM
For me, the term 'meh' represents disdain more than apathy. It just seems somewhat more vindicative.

Monday, 10/16/2006 4:27 PM
oh james, you are such a trendsetter.

Monday, 10/16/2006 5:49 PM
I find it really difficult communicating with full sentences rather than a series of grunts, mehs and other sounds. Most of the time when I get together with my closest friends for 'chatting' at a cafe we don't need to say a word to say it all. Needless to say meh is commonly used, we just need to take care to switch back to regular language when ordering our food. Oh and I am aware that considering I started this comment with 'I can't communicate with words' I have been using an awful lot all I can say to that is meh.

Monday, 10/16/2006 11:42 PM
um, yeah.

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 9:44 AM
Meh, is like i don't care or whatever or something like that. As i suffer from male apathy its so much easier using meh than wasting all those extra syllables. Do we need to stop, can't it just become another word in the English vocabulary or should it be shunned because it’s easy to say....

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 2:04 PM
You can use whatever words you like, so long as they communicate. Unfortunately, meh wasn't doing it for me. But all the kind people have finally explained it. So it will work here - but will it work in the outside world . . .

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 4:06 PM
Aaah Jessica, that was actually the quote I was originally thinking of, well done team!

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 6:36 PM
meh is apathy for me. Bah is what I use in frustration. Normally followed by an exclaimation mark. I honestly can no longer function without meh, bah, gr and lol. Whenever I say something as a joke in an email to someone who does not understand the concept of lol, I'm always like "what the hell do I put there to indicate it's a joke/meant to be funny?" I dont find hahaha or hehehe or "just joking" has the same effect. The Simpsons kicks arse. I relate EVERYTHING to the Simpsons. I make at least four Simpsons references a day. I love the MTV quote by Lisa. So true.

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 10:33 PM
My feeling is that good writing will always explain itself. Good writers don't need to put lol or gr. Readers get it anyway.

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 10:42 PM
Interesting comments made by all. Made me think, do I use 'Meh'? Don't really know, probaly more often than I realise... so I went out and did a mini- Meh experiment on myself. Findings: on tired days with less than 5hrs sleep 'Meh' was used exhaustively, in relation to uni assignments and city rail, usage increased by a significant percentage, talking to friends, frequently used, talking to strangers not all all. Conclusion: Meh is a half expression, used to show that you can't be bothered with something, it's more than feeling "whatever" and shows our continuous laziness to coummunicate. We've gone from being too lazy to form proper sentences to being too lazy to form actaul words. It's now become grunts and sounds. I like 'Meh' never thought a sound could have so much meaning and expression behind it.

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 11:52 PM
In real stories yes, but in emails to my sister about something stupid it is much easier to just write lol and gr.

Tuesday, 10/17/2006 11:54 PM
free speech, anyone?

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 12:04 AM
speech. that's an interesting choice of word.

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 9:41 AM
Jane very aptly described meh as '...a mix between a shrug and a defeated sigh.' It is not easy fabricating new words out of thin air and without using any pre-existing words (many long car trips have been wiled away in this pursuit) so I think we really should give a bit of credit to the maker of meh for an onomatopoeia-ish colloquialism that is thankfully available to replace the reigning 'whatever' and has the capacity to spark such intense debate about the role and relevance of certain words in our vernacular. Go the meh! (haha, look at that, how does meh change when you put an exclamation mark after it?)

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 9:59 AM
...i think it will work in the outside world, just in the younger generations, as you can see J2 people seem to know all about it. It just hasn't got to the oldies yet...

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 10:27 AM
what exactly are you implying?

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 10:36 AM

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 10:55 AM by Jane Lee
'Meh' with an exclamation mark becomes 'Bah'. I love how Seinfeld this all is.

Wednesday, 10/18/2006 11:20 AM
I am like soooo out of the loop here. Maybe I inhabit an alternate universe because never in conversation have I used/ heard 'meh' or 'bah'... Is the 'e' in 'meh' silent so as to sound like a common grunt, or is the 'e' stressed so as to make the pronunciation a clearly defined 'm-e-h'?



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