Brocabulary, by Daniel Maurer (Paperback, 2008)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
I can see where some guys would enjoy Brocabulary.
I am not one of those guys.
I must have completely misunderstood the description of
this book. For some reason, I thought Brocabulary was going to
take a look into how guys relate to each other today. We have code
words, like calling someone "bro" when we think that person is a
stand-up sort of guy. We say often "Dude" when we are trying to make a
point and it's code for, "I'm about to say something clever or
important, so listen." Straight guys are straightjacketed when it comes
to expressing ourselves, thus the rise of these subtleties. I thought
that was what this book was going to be about. It's not.
As it turns out, this book is a massive collection of
punnery, neologisms, crude-isms, bar lingo, mysogynisms, homophobisms,
and low brow humor in general. It's vapid. It seems squarely aimed at
the single guy who is a frat boy (or aspires to be one, or was one not
long ago), and whose only real concerns in life are getting laid and not
being seen as a homo (by standards only the seriously insecure would
Much of the material read like script lines or
background material written for Seann William Scott in some sequel to
American Pie. In the movie (and in similar roles in other movies),
Scott's character spices things up with this kind of "brocabulary" and
this "chick hunting" mentality. Adam Herz, who wrote American Pie,
added just enough in the right places, being careful not to overdo it
Brocabulary overdoes it. In fact, the book
consists completely of this kind of shtick. Reading it is like drinking
hot sauce straight from the bottle instead of using it to liven up the
food (you may prefer the "drinking from the fire hose" metaphor). That
isn't necessarily bad. This may appeal to some people's tastes. It
doesn't suit mine.
Brocabulary consists of 12 chapters. The first
chapter is pretty much a general glossary and worth some snickers to
almost anybody. The second chapter is a glossary for bar patrons. To me,
bars are places where guys go to fatten their waistlines, pickle their
brains, and damage their lungs while practicing lame pickup lines on
women who don't have anything useful to do with their time. I didn't
give the second chapter more than a cursory scan.
The third chapter, "Player Palaver," goes into the
lingo and behavior a Don Juan needs to know. This includes what not to
do, as well. If the Don Juan is successful, he can move on to Chapter 4,
"Banguage." The content is what the title suggests. However, it has
culturally specific references that were completely foreign to me.
Presumably, the Don Juan, after banging enough "hos,"
will move past one night stands and then need to know the information in
Chapter 5, "Hocabulary." The underlying concept here is the man has to
show who has the cajones and the woman who was the fulfillment of his
manhood in Chapter 4 is a threat to his manhood in Chapter 5. If she is
actually the boss, he's a wimp and he will lose face with his "bros."
We move into a different area of life's challenges in
Chapter 6, "Chilloquialisms." This chapter looks at what a "bro" needs
to know about recreation (chilling) so that he doesn't appear to be
unmanly. I found this chapter to be just too alien to my experiences and
way of thinking, and read only the first third of it before moving on to
the next chapter. Chapters 7 and 8 are about the proper language and
etiquette for masturbating and sharing bowel movement moments,
respectively. Mercifully, they are short.
In Chapter 9, Maurer goes into the lexicon of praise.
He also delves into the proper way of looking up to other guys, so you
don't come across as a wimp or a homo. This chapter includes a table
listing acceptable idols and unacceptable idols. Chapter 10 explains how
to effect the opposite of Chapter 9. It goes into great detail about the
proper ways of spurning others so there is no doubt you aren't among the
Chapter 11 is about clothing, and Chapter 12 is about
technology. Actually, there is some good advice in these chapters.
Maurer's comments, for example, on obsessive texting and other "chained
to my device" behaviors are right on target.
If you're in the age group and culture pocket that
Maurer wrote for, you will probably recommend this book to your
"bros." If you're outside that demographic, don't buy this book.