Generation Gap: Set in Words


Dec 10, 2016
The English language is renowned for being most difficult and confusing due to the double meaning of many words and phrases within our typical syntax. Irony and sarcasm can turn the nicest of compliments into weapons to cut someone down, and the crudest words can be used to bestow affection. It’s all up to the society and groups using the words how they become perceived, as we have seen meanings change throughout the history of this language.

Recently, this changing of meaning has become a conflict between the two generations fighting for influence over our current world, especially in the United States of America. There is a clear political line between Generation X, and their offspring, the Millennials- a trend that has existed in previous generations as well. Millennials are, as a whole, very much liberal and social progressive, while their parents tend to be more conservative, and find millennials to use political correctness in excess. Both may be right, or wrong- I am not here to discuss my opinion on the socio-political matters of “safe spaces” and “rape culture”, but rather the reason phrases like these cause such backlash and conflict between the two generations.

There is something to be said about the stereotype of older people disliking change. Often times it is mentioned how they do not like changes in the system, changes in location, changes in their routine. Another idea to present is their dislike to change in language. It is of my personal experience, and the experience of others that Generation X, and the Baby Boomers to boot, do not like the way Millennials use the language they inherited. It aggravates them that these young adults have taken words past their dictionary meaning, adding cultural significance, and historical context. Much of the reason that the older generations do not agree with the younger one is due to the way Millennials title and term the causes they fight for. Millennials add too much significance to words, giving them unnecessary power. Why make more taboos? Generation X asks. Why twist our words like this, to where we cannot use them without receiving backlash online? This in turn aggravates Millennials, who find their parents and grandparents insensitive to others. It makes them feel as if they have been misunderstood and unheard, because if they simply listened, wouldn’t they agree? In turn, Generation X tells them they are heard, but that their words are simply nonsensical. This will go on and on in a cycle of UNDERSTAND ME and YOURE WRONG. There are very many words being said but very few being actually considered on either side.

In fact, there is quite an irony in the situation. A parent and child will fight to the last breath about a term or phrase, and how it should be used, in what context, that they end up never giving time or attention to the actual situation they were to discuss. They could even have similar views on the social/political/religious/economic issue they were discussing, but they are unable to get past the other party’s word choice, that they forever live in a sense of anger and annoyance at being misunderstood by the other.
It's not confusing to me, at all. Words have definitive meanings, period.
Yeah right, english again. Try telling Hispanics "mandar fruita" which translates to "sending fruit" but means "bullshit". It ain't about English lessons it's about freaking left wing propaganda.
Congratulations, you have turned Blah into Blah Blah. If you keep this up, you will graduate to yada yada yada in no time.
Congratulations, you have turned Blah into Blah Blah. If you keep this up, you will graduate to yada yada yada in no time.

I have to say, I love this critique, even if it is way too harsh on a youngster making his first post. You have no doubt sent him/her/it down deep into a "Safe Space".

Young people don't realize that older people have stood in their shoes, and thought older people fools....only to become older in their turn and realize they were once young fools.

Winston Churchill probably summed up the ever repeating phenomena best:

"If you are not a Liberal when you are 20, you have no Heart; and if you are not a Conservative when you are 40, you have no Brain."

The O. P. will say he was talking about the changing meaning of words....but he is experiencing a fad...and will come to know that Human Nature is in control, and, if it changes at all, it changes very slowly...over millennia...not generations.

It does seem that this latest Generation are worse Pussies than ever...but hey, perhaps the older generation thinks the same thing....every generation.


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