I used to hate the word "dude." I really did. I got all medieval on a friend in high school because she used the word far too much, and I thought she sounded like a halfwit. And don't get me wrong -- we people who use the word still sound like halfwits, or cowpokes at best. But it doesn't drive me as batty as it used to, and now I use it daily, at least 53 times.
1. I call my boss "Dude." As in "Duude, this account's all fucked up. Can you call them and let them know??"
2. I call my son "Dude." As in, "Hey, it's time to get your jammies on, dude!"
3. I call my friends "Dude." Even though the vast majority of my friends are clearly not dudes, I call them "Dude" anyway. As in, "Hey dude! How's it going??"
4. I call my sisters "Dude." As in, "Dude, what the fuck is wrong with mom this week??"
5. I call my mom "Dude." As in, "Dude! Wanna go shopping with me this weekend?"
6. I call my dad "Dude." As in, "Dude! How's your book coming along?" (Um, he's writing a book.)
7. I use "dude" as an expletive of sorts. As in, "Oh, duuude, this totally sucks."
It's such a handy, all-purpose word. It can be angry, sarcastic, perky and cheerful -- and sometimes it can be all these things at the same time. I can't help but love it. I'm really sorry.