Opinion: Scrub the term ‘scrub’

By Lani Mertes, staff writer

Freshman Josh Branum holds a sign that reads “I’m with scrub,” pointing toward freshman Kevin Van Lieshout in math teacher Brian Donaldson’s Advanced Geometry class. (Photo by Lani Mertes)

Let me start off by saying that this article reflects my opinion, and while many others do hold the same viewpoint, in no way am I trying to offend anybody or the use of the word. This article is purely for fun.

The term “scrub” can be defined in many different contexts. Scrubs are the shirts and trousers or gowns worn by nurses, surgeons and other operating room personnel when “scrubbing in” for surgery. In addition, there’s the act of scrubbing. And lastly, the only other definition that I accept is when a team has players who never play, also known as “bench warmers.”

Although I do accept these definitions of the term, I personally cannot stand it when I hear the expression “Dude, that kid’s such a SCRUB!”

Let’s dissect this. How do you define a random kid who’s not playing any form of sport or activity as a scrub? If you take into consideration the definitions posted above, calling someone in a situation like this a scrub makes absolutely no sense.

Despite this, you still end up with people like junior Andrew Kurtz who proudly declares, “It is an excellent word. I love using it. Scrub is for scrubs.”

Not only does it not make sense, but also it’s annoying. I have to admit that in some situations when people use the word, it may be funny, but only to an extent.

“Scrub gets old really fast. I enjoyed hearing it at first, but now I cannot take anyone who says it seriously,” sophomore Eliza Goldberg said.

The majority of people who use this term are male, and it generally occurs in sports settings. This term should be deemed socially unacceptable unless you are complementing the scrubs someone is currently wearing, talking about scrubbing something or in the situation where you are watching a sporting event and the scrubs go in. Other than in these situations, I personally believe “scrub” should be scrubbed from the common vernacular.

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