Crunk, wig, and slaps

How our language dates us in the digital world
by
June 2022, no. 443

Crunk, wig, and slaps

How our language dates us in the digital world
by
June 2022, no. 443

At a dinner party recently, the conversation turned to how our language gives away our age. No more so than in the use of slang, proposed one guest, who suggested that each person’s use of slang, like a favourite pop song, is frozen in time from their teenage years. Take, for example, terms for something considered ‘wonderful’. The theory goes that if someone still says swell, tickety-boo, or snazzy, chances are they were teenagers during World War II. Boomers, those born after the war until the mid-1960s, are the most likely to use super duper, wild, or far out. Someone nearing fifty, a Gen Xer, is probably the most likely to say brill or wicked. Millennials and Gen Z would be the ones saying crunk, wig, and slaps.

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