Friday, November 1, 2013

How Phrases Date Us

I was reading an October 23, 2013  story in the Huffington Post/50  by Shelley Emling, Twenty-One Clichés That Just Make You Sound Old.   That got me thinking about phrases unique to generations, how words develop, or meanings change. So I was wondering about words or phrases that would be uniquely identified with the Baby Boomers and whether when using them, our students would get the references or would we sound old? 

I focused on the Boomers because of the ages of my students. I asked my students, only 1 or 2 of whom I would guess is a Boomer (although I would hazard a guess that the parents of the rest of them are Boomers) for a list of words and phrases that they would attribute to the Baby Boomers.  (As an aside, for some reason they found this exercise more fun than talking about nursing home quality of care--go figure).  Here is what my students came up with so far (and I expect they will send me more) (forgive me for not attributing the word or phrase to someone who made it popular)

Far Out

Rock On, That Rocks, or any derivation using Rocks (I so use that one all the time)

Peace, man


Flower Power

Cool (I'll confess to this one as well)

Right On

I decided at that point it was time to turn to the subject at hand...back to nursing homes! Peace, man and Rock on!

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