A man in a suit points his finger at the word “crazy”. The word is often used to label things or people that are unusual or different. PHOTO COURTESY OF PIX4FREE

Jake Long
Associate Opinion Editor

The phrases “that’s crazy” and “(insert overexplained action) is crazy” have infected people’s automatic response systems. They were once used to convey disinterest in a random story, but now they get thrown around willy-nilly in response to anything that causes slight questioning. The willy-nilly spectrum ranges from a silly animal encounter posted on Instagram to the most out of pocket words to ever be uttered. To cure ourselves of this infection in our vocabularies, we must first acknowledge our vital role in spreading it because we hold power over our words, not the other way around. Then we must prevent it from ever coming back by annihilating the word “crazy” from all languages. I realize that this is drastic, but we cannot give these sayings any foothold to reinfect our minds because if we do, then we risk losing all hope for mutual understanding.  

The word crazy entered the English language thanks to the lovely Old French word crasir. The word crasir transitioned into the middle English word crasen, which meant to be diseased or deformed. After that, it transformed into the word we all know and love, crazy. At first, people used “crazy” to describe anyone that was mentally deranged. It served its purpose with honor before people deformed it into the convoluted mass of meanings we know it to have today. Considering the definition crazy’s ancestor crasen, we practically predicted the deformities that it would go through in the future. We forced it to become the very thing that it swore to represent but never condone. This is not surprising, however, because we do the same thing to ourselves. We tell ourselves that we don’t deserve anything in life or that the world is so unfair, and woopty-do our wishes come true. It is a cyclical process that we pass on to all of our creations, but crazy got the worst of it because it was destined to mean absolutely everything and now it means nothing at all. 

The word “crazy” provides people with an easy way to avoid the difficulties of understanding another person’s views. Understanding someone else is extremely difficult because we all have accumulated experiences that differ from each other. So, to avoid this struggle, people refer to others who are different than them as “crazy.” It’s simple yet effective, and once someone throws the accusation, there is little chance for a compromise because the other person is likely to shell up. “Crazy” is an agreement between people that says, “I don’t understand your world because you don’t understand mine.” Because there’s a slight chance of violence with disagreement, we’ll just verbally separate ourselves from each other rather than using the disagreement to grow in unity. We are meant to create peace, not pain and eliminating “crazy” (and all subsequent synonyms) is our first step towards our goal.

It is near impossible to instantly remove a word from all languages, but a slow wean is in order. Without “crazy” as a quick hitting crutch, we may be more accepting of the obscurities that surround them every day. We may be more willing to understand people who we perceive to be different than us. “Crazy” deserves a release for the unescapable cycle we subjugated it too, I say we end its suffering and our own with a definitive delete. 

We are the ones who have forcibly deformed “crazy” into an inglorious crutch that lacks stability. Before crazy was used to disengage conversation, it lived in its purest form, as a way to describe someone who was mentally deranged. It pains me to say it, but the word “crazy” has lived long past its expiration date. We must put it out of its misery before it reigns supreme over every single reaction related word.