IIMB lingo evolves rapidly and continuously, throwing up new words and phrases with every batch of MBAs. Skimpy has already written about how ‘are’ burst on to the scene and gained currency. Slightly after that, another important meme evolved in IIMB: K.
Just as ‘are’ was originally supposed to mean ‘exists’ and later came to mean ‘is good’, ‘K’ too mutated. It was originally shorthand for ‘okay’, but then came to be used only in situations where the okay was accompanied with vast wodges of contempt.
So K now means ‘Your argument is so bereft of logic that I will not waste time responding to it. I refuse to acknowledge your terms of debate. Instead, I quit the discussion, or I will do my own thing.’ Which, honestly, is an amazing amount of information to communicate with a single character.
The verb form of K is ‘say K to’, i.e. to refuse to defend yourself in the face of nonsense. Whether you say K by walking away, or by attacking is up to you. The important point is not to acknowledge the other party’s demands.
The act of saying K existed long before the phrase did. There are hajaar precedents and all. For example, when Hitler wished him Happy Birthday, King Christian X sent back a terse, three word reply. That Snopes page also debunks the urban legend about all Danes wearing a yellow Star of David, which would be a fabulous example of saying K if it was true. And when Mahatma Gandhi went on the Dandi March, he was basically saying K to the British Empire.
The most prominent literary example of saying K is in Atlas Shrugged, where the inhabitants of Galt’s Gulch say K to the world at large.
“Everytime I have played in India, there has been some kind of problem. So we just thought it was better not to play this time,” she said.
Full respect are there.