The kids are back in school now, and I’ve been thinking about how the meanings of some words have changed since my schooldays. Yes, my memory goes back that far!
Two words that came to mind immediately are “senior” and “plus.” These two words have positive and uplifting meanings to school kids, but mean something else to boomers.
Do you remember when senior meant you were about to graduate, and not a discount at McDonalds? How about “plus”? With a grading system, that meant you were at the upper level of the grade you received. Most teachers wouldn’t give an A+, but if you got one, you knew you were better than the best. Now when I hear plus, I think of plus sizes. That’s something I don’t want to be. When you see the “One size fits most” you don’t want to be so much of a plus that you are not included in the “most” category.
I thought of a few other words that have different meanings now. A text was the books we carried home from school each day so that we could do our homework. Now a text is a cryptic message sent on cell phones. Cell is another word that is used differently now. When I was young, a cell was something we studied in science class not a phone we used to send texts.
I know I’ve only scraped the surface of vocabulary usage, but it did remind me of another thing. I’m glad I don’t have to spend my evenings reading a text—book that is. Sometimes, being a boomer senior has its advantages.
Copyright © September 2010 L. S. Fisher