Sunday, September 04, 2005


See, this Lebowski, he called himself "The Dude". Now, "Dude" - there's a name no man would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense.

While kayaking through Desolation Sound years ago, Chris kept telling me to stop saying the word “dude”. “You’re never going to get a job as a manager if you keep saying dude all the time.”

He was right that I was overusing the term. In my defence, I used it mostly for punctuation or as a salutation. I would begin I sentence with it, for example, “Dude, you have to paddle harder”. I have never used it as like a surfer describing the morning’s swells; “duuuuuuude it was gnarly out there.” No elongated pronunciation for me. Just a quick monosyllabic interjection, nothing more.

I also use the term “dude” to describe the character of another man. If someone asks me about the nature of another man, I may describe them as a “dude”, meaning they have integrity and are a stand up guy. At work, a dude means someone who can get it done, but is still an authentic and original person. One cannot be obsequious and be a dude, just as a dude cannot be weak or foolish. A dude makes it happen, a dude gets it done, but they do it without selling out.

Ray Nagin is a dude.