Saturday, February 6, 2010

What is "Guan?"

Hello, and Welcome to!

I'll be one of the contributing bloggers, and as you can see, this is my first post and the first legitimate post on this website.

Now, the casual reader may ask... "What is Guan?" When my friends and I began this blog, we questioned this ourselves. We had used it so casually, that it seemed that the definition of it had been lost. I felt that this post was important enough to warrant some serious soul-searching before I let it wander off onto the internet for the world to see.

Now, a simple search on the internet would have you believe that Guan is a Chinese surname, one that was even held by a famous general. The other part of the internet (Urban Dictionary) would tell you that it was an Irish contraction of "Go on" or even a British slang for Marijuana. The immortal words of Sean Kingston would seem to agree with the contraction when he claims "What the Guan!" in the intro of his song "Take you There". However, as I analyzed these definitions, I quickly realized that these simple labels were not enough to encompass all that is "Guan"

Perhaps the simplest way to explain is through our history with the word... It began with the Kingston's song, when someone who dropped by while listening only to the intro questioned that statement: "What the Guan!" Admittedly, the statement is a strange one at first hearing. After all, the contraction is not one often used, and our friend confused "Guan" as though it were its own word.

It stuck. "Guan" sprang up into our everyday vernacular and we defined it in our own manner.

Now we return to the important question: "What is Guan?"

"Guan" is contextual and multi-faceted. We may say "What the Guan?" as a replacement for the more vulgar phrase, "What the F***?" When someone does something obnoxious or troubling to others, we may refer to them as a "Guanner," in a sense similar to the phrase F***er." Does this mean we limit "Guan" to be the same as the word "F***?"

No, "Guan" is not so crude and vulgar to be confined to this single definition. While the context could imply that "Guan" is the same, it does not carry the latter's harsh connotations. It is simply not a vulgar word.

So we have established that "Guan" does not equal "F***." Perhaps we must look at it situationally. "What the Guan" is most often employed in a position where one sees something odd. Perhaps it's the sight of something absurd, such as a sunny day turning to storms while you've been in a windowless room. Perhaps it is the realization that you've completed the wrong assignment for your class. Perhaps is a multiple choice question with no right answers. Perhaps these definitions can give us an understanding of it...

"What is Guan?" Simply stated, "Guan" is confusion. "Guan" is failure. "Guan" is an oddity. "Guan" is chaos. "Guan" is the statement that things just don't make sense. "Guan" is, in a cheesy sense... life. We all experience things in life that cause us to shake our heads and question our sanity, or at least the sanity of others. The reason I joined this blog is because it's so interesting to think about such "Guan-age" and reflect on life's little quirks. While I don't promise that every one of my posts will wax on so philosophically, I can assure you, I can try.

I think that's enough of an introduction, and I hope you enjoy reading about the random ramblings of guanning guanners.

Let the Guan begin,

Thursday, February 4, 2010