Meme collision of the week

« previous post | next post »

Lauren Jack ("Do you hurkle-durkle? What the Scottish word taking over social media means and where it came from", The Scotsman 1/24/2024) embeds a TikTok video from 7/18/2023:

@devriebrynnme my Scottish ancestors = just chillin’ as a culture♬ original sound – Devriebrynn

Ben Zimmer quickly picked it up lexicographically — "To ‘Hurkle-Durkle,’ or Lounge in Bed, Is a TikTok Trend That’s 200 Years Old: A 19th-century Scottish rhyming phrase has resurfaced and gone viral", WSJ 3/1/2024. And a Google News search for the term turns up dozens of recent articles.

So I should have been ready for 6,272 words from Lance Eliot at on how the "Trend Of ‘Hurkle-Durkling’ In Bed Gets Boosted To High Form Via Modern Generative AI" (7/7/2-24). The article starts with a lot of standard thoughts about hurkle-durkling, morality, electronic media, mental health, and so on. But it does bring in generative AI, starting with this framing question:

"Modern-day generative AI and large language models (LLMs) are readily used while lounging around in bed. Does this then change the proposition underlying the considered negative perceptions of doing a hurkle-durkle? Should we reconsider the nature of hurkling-durkling?"

It continues with "a quickie backgrounder" on generative AI, for those who've been meditating in a cave for the past few years, and a list of "significant approaches that intertwine generative AI and hurkle-durkling". And it ends with "a series of dialogues with ChatGPT" about the topic, based on the prompts

  • “What is hurkle-durkling?”
  • “Is hurkle-durkle good or bad?”
  •  “Give an example of a person lying in bed that opts to do a hurkle-durkle and what is possibly going on in their mind as they do so.”
  • “If a person was doing a hurkle-durkle, how might generative AI be of use to them during that time?”

I'm tempted to write a program that uses the same template to generate a long article about an arbitrary topic, but I have a feeling that Mr. Eliot has been there already.



  1. AntC said,

    July 8, 2024 @ 4:19 pm



    I see the article is about as ambivalent about how to form the gerund as are my intuitions.

    It doesn't parse like 'bicycle-riding', 'bottle-washing', 'cockle-shucking' because it's an imitative repetition, not two distinct words smashed together.

    wibbly-wobbly ?

  2. cgh said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 10:07 am

    AntC – shilly-shallying?

  3. Philip Taylor said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 10:32 am

    And of course "dilly-dallying".

  4. maidhc said,

    July 10, 2024 @ 3:57 am

    crouch, sit huddled in a crouched position for warmth or secrecy
    16th c. –

    The Concise Scots Dictionary, 1985

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment