Today I was going through photos I took last summer when I came across a picture I took of an everyday jerk. This prompted me to look up “jerk” at dictionary.com and, interestingly enough, I encountered a definition that I believe misses the mark. The dictionary defines “jerk” as “
Rarely have I ever seen a dictionary get the lexical accounting of common usage so completely wrong.
So what is a jerk? A jerk is indeed contemptible, but that deserved contempt is generated by the fact that this person is inconsiderate and self-centered: basically like the able-bodied driver of this dually pickup that I saw last summer parked illegally in two — count ’em, two — handicapped spots.
Now that’s a jerk.