Before Coffee: The Accelerated Decrepitude of the English Language

May 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

I discovered yesterday that the slang term “411,” (as in, “Give me the 411 on the new guy”) is meaningless to Millennials. Which means they also don’t know about the real 411—the information service that served as the origin of the slang term.

(“Millennials,” as I define them, are people who have never known a world without cell phones, and perhaps even smart cell phones (or “smartphones,” as the damned youths call them).)

Finding out that 411 is utterly devoid of meaning to a major segment of the U.S. population both surprised and angered me. Surprised, because I swear the term was hip five minutes ago. (“Hip” still has meaning, right?) There’s no way it could be past its use-by date already.

And yet it is, which makes me angry, because that means time is flying by way too damn fast. I can spit and hit 50, and I can’t spit all that far. When did that happen? Ten minutes ago (five minutes before 411 was hip), I was the age these Millennials are now. I took a dump and now I’m ancient.

It’s accelerated decrepitude, which is a term I got from Blade Runner, which is a movie none of the Millennials have even heard of. (Go watch it, kids; it holds up even by today’s standards. Plus, they’re making a sequel.)

In another ten minutes, I won’t understand a damn thing the post-Millenials are saying. Slang will have evolved too quickly for my addled pate to grasp. I’ll just totter around on my servo-motor replacement joints (based on a technology I won’t quite understand, but will be grateful for, regardless), glaring in irate confusion at the Droogie Generation as they drink their Knifey Molokos and smoke their legalized drencrom.

They’d better stay off my damn lawn, if they know what’s good for ’em.

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