Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Half Empty: "Your Language is Your Age"

They say that when you hit your 40s, your life is half over. We prefer to think of it as HALF EMPTY. Our age has finally caught up with our outlook on life. Remember, it is possible to turn that frown upside down...but you might pull a muscle.

"Your Language is Your Age"

By Rick Kaempfer & Dave Stern

Once you turn 40, you enter a sort of "coolness" no-man's land. You’re kids are probably too young to let you know if you’re woefully out of touch or not, and you have this nagging feeling that everything you thought was cool is no longer considered cool.

You’re right.

But there are ways to avoid putting a blinking light on your advancing age. The biggest giveaway is obviously your looks, but even those of us who somehow managed to enter middle age without looking like it, can give ourselves away by misusing the language.

Don't overreact to this inevitable crisis. It’s not important to learn the new slang. Not only does that take way too much time and effort; it also tends to make you look a little pathetic.

You can avoid the blinking neon age billboard by simply stopping your usage of outdated slang.

If you use any of the following words or phrases, there isn’t a person in this country who won’t immediately recognize your age. Avoid them at all costs.

1. “Fresh”
The kids still use this one, but they never, ever use it this way: “He was getting a little fresh with me.” There used to be two meanings to this (a verbal and physical one). Now there are zero.

2. “Stinker”
Nobody under the age of 60 uses that word. If you’re playing with a child and you say “Stop being a little stinker,” everyone will know that you are the child’s grandparent.

3. “Sporty”
If your Mercury Sable is “sporty,” you’re old. If you’re new outfit is “sporty,” you may be too far gone for us to help you.

4. “Hunk”
If you see an attractive man and tell your girlfriends that he is a “Hunk,” he is at least thirty years younger than you are.

5. “Hold your horses”
If someone is a little overanxious and you say “hold your horses,” everyone in the room will know that you lived during a time when people did it for real.

6. “Far Out”, “Right On”, “Out of Sight”
These phrases died in the plane crash with John Denver. If you still use any of them, take that country road back to the place where you belong...the old folks home.

7. "Hubba Hubba"
When you say it, expect to hear this from any young person in the room... "Ewwww."

8. “Young Man” or “Young Lady”
If you use either one of these terms at the end of the sentence...”Where do you think you’re going, __________?”...brace yourself. Your grandson or granddaughter may just get a little fresh with you.

9. "Cutting a Rug"
Nothing says "I can't dance" better than "Let's go cut a rug." No one with any self respect will dance with you after you say it. Both of us actually use this to get out of dancing.

Hopefully you dig this groovy list. Avoid them and nobody will know you’re not a hep cat. Use them and everyone will know you’re totally square.

To read any of our previous Half Empty columns, click here: