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The sewing machine thread reminded me

  • LuckyDog (640 posts)
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    The sewing machine thread reminded me

    That the language and expressions we as seniors use are becoming obsolete.

    We were talking to my niece last week and I used the word “hornswaggle,” and my niece pops up with “What’s that?”  I explained it and realized that I am noticing more and more some quizzical looks sometimes when I’m talking to a younger person and I use an expression that brings on a kind of “huh?”  And I think they are being polite by not asking me what I mean by that, etc.

    Have any of you all experienced a language gap like this?  Language is obviously a fluid, living, changing thing and especially now with all the new communications related terminology owned by the younger generation, the same is true for us.  We have to keep up with them but do they need to keep up with us and our disappearing expressions?

    I tend to use expressions that were commonplace to me when young and then later as an adult starting in a career working with professionals in the legal field.  That area has a unique lexicon understood by all that work in that field.  Still, there are expressions like “dead-bang loser,” “hide the salami,” or “can’t put lipstick on that pig,” that were instantly understood among peers but that were wholly unintelligible to many others.  Colloquialisms from regional use are another example of the language first flourishing then dying out as the nation is increasingly more mobile and sophisticated.

    Folding in nicely with the hippies thread as well are all those expressions that arose in the psychedelic era, many of which are now accepted and mainstream.  Words like bummer, and heavy and bliss and far out that are now commonly heard.  I read recently that Owsley is in the Oxford dictionary.  If that doesn’t seal the deal on that (our) generation’s contributions to language I don’t know what does?

    Has anyone else noticed this happening?

    morningglory, KarenS like this

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8 replies
  • NV Wino (5919 posts)
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    1. Yes. It's kind of amusing.

    we tend to hang out with our own age group, and when exposed to a younger, and I mean reakky younger, group, there seems to be a translation problem both ways.

    i think those of us who are computer savvy are less at risk, but there is still a gap.

    Resist-sm_zpswfchkz8t “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee  
  • oldandhappy (4104 posts)
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    2. I have noticed that we are living longer.

    As we live longer, language changes, cultural norms change, style changes and changes again, what we see as important also changes.  I guess we have the option to change or not change.  I started saying ‘cool’ in my 50’s when people just out of college were saying it.  Now ‘cool’ is out of date and my friends who taught it to me are in their 50’s.  Cool replaced ‘neat’ in my language.  I am not familiar with the expressions you use.  When we were younger we were listening carefully and trying to fit in.  I confess I no longer care to do that!  I also do not use so many expressions.  I am on a toot (smile) to try to use real vocabulary.  Sorry to say, I doubt language goes backward unless you are in a Shakespearean lit class.  I am sitting here trying to remember some of my grandmother’s expressions.  Good question tho.  No answers.  Happy pondering.

    Invest in people.  Seek TRUTH.
    • LuckyDog (640 posts)
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      4. Really?

      “I am not familiar with the expressions you use.”

      Which ones?  You have never heard bummer, heavy or bliss, or was it you never heard of hide the salami or lipstick on a pig?

      You must have been around in the sixties so I presume you refer to the other ones.  Yup, different professions have unique nomenclature and unique slang I guess.  Lawyers I worked for seemed to be fond of a certain mix of Shakespearean oratory and irreverence.

      My granny had some great expressions you never hear much anymore, like”you’re a caution,” or “you’re the limit.”  I think her expressions like shenanigans or malarkey were from the Irish American lexicon but I think they have been mainstreamed now.  The military is a great one with its own lexicon too, like FUBAR and AWOL, Catch-22, ASAP, SNAFU, PDQ.

      • oldandhappy (4104 posts)
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        7. These

        “dead-bang loser,” “hide the salami,” or “can’t put lipstick on that pig,”  also I have never heard bliss as anything other than bliss

        I realize as I type this that actually I have always been out of touch with slang!

        Invest in people.  Seek TRUTH.
  • Lynetta (681 posts)
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    3. I grew up with cartoons from the 1920~1969

    I learned classical music, historical references, cultural references, science and slang over those decades.  Somebody decided that those cartoons were politically incorrect and they are now rated PG13.  My grandkids watch shows about buying clothes and getting even and cartoons about a sea sponge, talking vegetables and other whiny things. I have got a collection of them on DVD.

    Today I had to call Tracfone CS to see about a year long plan ending soon. I needed to know what the Protection plan cost, what it contained and if it was the right one for this phone because it had transferred over from a dumb phone to an android phone when the number was ported.

    The first answer I got was “yes”. Then “I took care of that for you”. After asking each question four times, twice individually  I finally got the person to answer the three questions. At least it wasn’t three minutes between replies on chat while they are doing three customers at the same time and lose track of who they are talking to.

    • LuckyDog (640 posts)
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      5. Oh, Lynetta, you would love

      The Carl Stalling Project.  I found a cassette, yes, that long ago, that had this music on it and I used to just revel in listening to it.  We all absorbed that stuff from cartoons and, man, it was some really great music in its own right.  Bugs Bunny rules!

      AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny

      “The first volume in The Carl Stalling Project series is a revelation; more than just an essential part of a Warner Bros. staff that generated some of the finest and most inspired productions in the history of animation, Stalling was a visionary whose work deserves consideration among the finest American avant-garde music ever recorded. As these 15 selections from WB cartoons dating between 1936 and 1958 attest, his cut and paste style — a singular collision between jazz, classical, pop, and virtually everything else in between — was unprecedented in its utter disregard for notions of time, rhythm, and compositional development; Stalling didn’t just break the rules, he made them irrelevant. That in the process he created music beloved by succeeding generations of children is more impressive still — perhaps even unwittingly, Stalling introduced the avant-garde into the mainstream, and as popular music continues to diversify and hybridize, his stature as a pioneer rightfully continues to grow.”


      LuckyDog sez check it out.



      • Lynetta (681 posts)
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        8. Thanks.

  • PADemD (1298 posts)
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    6. Yes, but I can't remember what the word was.