A universal word in today's youth culture, it can be used to denote any kind of approval or positive attitude in regard to an object ("Cool shirt, dude"), an action ("That was fucking cool"), among many other things.

However, it has also been used as means of social oppression. The "in" crowd would often use this term to define themselves separate from The "out" crowd. It usually goes something like this: "You're not cool, so beat it, geek".

What defines if something is cool? Simple. Pop culture. The cultural norms of the nation are set by a bunch of marketers sitting in some corporate skyscraper. If you can possibly believe that. That's not cool!

Fortunately, not the entire nation are Abercrombie and Fitch and Banana Republic slaves. Geeks have geek culture. Goths have goth culture. We have our own standards of cool. And our culture is a heck of a lot less shallow than pop culture. So there.