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Friday, July 17, 2009

Words from a Fleeting Youngster

The way we speak, the language we choose to use speaks volumes about how we are perceived in the world.

N'yah mean?

People in our society chase youth with a fervent passion, a reckless abandon, we are obsessed with looking younger and feeling younger, we look to charlatan assholes like Dr. Oz to help us keep wrinkles and laugh lines at bay for as long as possible. It's a wonder, then, that we don't ever really focus on speaking younger. If we are to maintain our youth, we must understand that the words we use in everyday communication send out signals to the rest of the world, and, as such, I have endeavored to elucidate some words that identify us instantly as droppy-assed old codgers.

For example, when I hear someone use the word "youngster," I say to myself, "Hmpf, that guy is fucking old."

There are people out there who use the word "youngster" to describe anyone from toddler to anyone aged thirty-two. Charles Gibson used the word "youngster" last night on on the news to describe the 17-year-old who circumnavigated the globe all alone on a boat. Charlie-- you're officially fucking old. Ditto for folks who use the word "tyke" to describe anyone is engaged in compulsory education.

"Fangled" is another good one to stay away from.

You're old if you use the word "supper," and even older if you use the abbreviated form of said word as a verb, as in, "I'm heading over to the Bradford-Bryants to sup. Afterwards, we shall sip cognac by the fire while being attended to by their Negro."

Oh, that reminds me, you're also pretty old if you use the word "Negro."

You're also pretty fucking old if you...

* refer to your bathrobe as a "dressing gown."

* refer to your car as a "Buick Park Avenue."

* refer to your wife as "the little woman" or, far worse, "Mother."

* refer to your socks as "stockings."

* refer to your doctor as "Bob."

* refer to the internet as "a lot of damned nonsense and tomfoolery."

* refer to your urogenital system as your "waterworks."

Similarly, you can definitely be said to have reached the point of elderhood when people refer to you as "cantankerous," "crotchety," "sour," or "bitter." Of course, anybody who would use any of those adjectives is also old, so don't worry about it. A real young person would just refer to you as an asshole.

Growing old is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, however, it is preferable to avoid the words of the aged for as long as possible. There is no reason fit, virile gentlemen should be using terms like "cronie" and "pleurisy" before their time.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Department of the Anti-Aging Vernacular Association of America.

(Oh, yeah-- and don't use the word "vernacular.")


  1. I refer to my bath robe as a dressing gown. But then, I'm English, so does that make a difference?

  2. I think that might say more about the English than you personally.

  3. It doesn't make you weird or old; it just makes you English, and, conseuently, awesome. Can I be you?

  4. You really wouldn't want to be me, but being called awesome is certainly a better start to the day than usual.

  5. I don't agree with supper being an old indicator. I use supper all the time. How do you refer to the 3rd meal of the day? I have tried using dinner, but for some reason, my husband thinks that refers to the 2nd meal which I have always called lunch. It's such a mess! :)

  6. Well, this was one of the best things I've read all day. ((Not counting the other blog entries I'm catching up on.))

    Except for the whole 'supper' thing --- Here in Canada that's the 'correct' term, no matter how old you are! 'Dinner' is, apparently, purely an American term.


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