•Do you find the evolution of our vocabulary to be a little extra?
•Does the fact that emojis have now officially replaced complete sentences leave you shook?
•Are you hip to all of the advances in communication and think it is truly outta sight?
In lieu of Dictonary.com’s recent addition of “supposably” and “finna” to its list of new words for 2021, we started reminiscing about the evolution of our vocabulary. Did we even know what we were saying “back in the day?” Do you?
Brooke (60-Something Baby Boomer)
Hey, Lindsey, Amanda and Karen – take this fun quiz!
Identify these terms. Score yourself one point for each correct answer.
How did you do? Did I trip you up on the last one? Nooo, not underwear. In my youth this was the common term for flip flops. While I get super annoyed with the ubiquitous Facebook memes showing obsolete items with the rhetorical “who remembers this?” I was struck while researching this topic by the number of everyday items from my era that have gone the way of the dinosaur:
•Cursive – we called it longhand, but whatever.
•Handwritten checks – if you write more than three paper checks per year, you might be a dinosaur.
•Encyclopedias – all you Boomers just sang that in Jiminy Cricket voice, right?
The difference lies in whether or not my fellow Boomers still use these items. You may have seen this one which pops up with irritating frequency on the Book of Faces:
I’m always curious about those Boomers who post, with great pride, “All of them!” I have none of them. The past belongs in the past. It’s like pointing to your state-of-the-art butter churn when friends come calling. We are fast becoming obsolete ourselves. Why hasten the process by ignoring, nay eschewing, progress? Why hold fast to your takeout menus when you have DoorDash? A wall calendar? Seriously? Do you work at a “filling station”?
The secret to eternal youth is to avoid making a showy display of your complete dissociation with anything after the Nixon Administration. Music, fashion, art and technology – ESPECIALLY technology – should be explored and embraced. There was a lot of great stuff that came out of the Boomer Era but let us grab our aluminum walkers and move on. I have, and believe my life is richer for it. I promise you, if one more Boomer says, “Oh, I ask my grandson” for even the most basic technology assistance, I will beat them with my thong.
Lindsay (Fabulous 40’s)
Brooke, you had me stumped on a few. Much like today’s slang, I needed some assistance from google. My generation was a bit more obvious, and even the youth of today can understand my old slang which earns me the side eye, followed by an eye roll and occasionally a sigh. As if!
Rather than screaming at parents, we used our creative slang to get our points across. Don’t have a cow, mom. Duh, mom, don’t be such a dork. Or you would just diss your parents ‘cuz they were total goobers. Mom, pay attention . . .hello McFly? Oh mom, take a chill pill. My favorite saying of all time was “that was then and this is now”. I was known for this being my come back to everything my parents said that seemed heinous.
With my friends, I was jonesing for a killer burger and stoked to hang out. I would tote around my legit boom box filled with 4 huge D batteries so we could listen to tunes anywhere. Like, if you didn’t have one you were so lame. No one wanted the friend who was a total spaz or a complete Dufus.
I am officially resurrecting some of these terms today. F*ckin A, right!
Karen (F’ing Fifties)
Sweet! I passed Brooke’s Boomer Term test, I scored a most triumphant 6 out of 7. I couldn’t remember what “Fink” meant. Duh! I’m a total space cadet.
What I do remember, however, is why the spoon was the chosen utensil of choice to gag myself with when I heard or saw something totally grody or how gnarly it was to put on my Walkman and listen to some Kick Ass tunes!
There were a lot of things that would barf me out, like taking care of Madoner, my weekend “egg baby” (aka my High School Health Class homework assignment designed to curb my desire to be 16 & Pregnant long before MTV made it a prerequisite to becoming an Instagram Influencer). Unlike parenting an egg baby (which was hella hard), I was totally stoked to resurrect my awesome 80’s lingo. But now, in retrospect, OMIGOD, I feel like a total geezer. Gag me!
Amanda (30-Something Millennial)
My Generation has so much slang that they’ve created the Urban Dictionary to catalog the language of Millennials and Gen Z. But maybe that’s not even cool anymore – which, btw, is now called cheugy. I’m not even sure if my era has slang as much as we just use emojis or shorten everything for the sake of a #hashtag…
•Szn = Season
•Sus = Suspect
•Tea = Hot Gossip
•TBH = To Be Honest
•Bae = Before Anyone Else
Were you too cool for school?
Do you need a translator to communicate in this day and age?
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