Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Generation Game

There are lots of words that become so overused they begin to lose their impact and their meaning.

Hero - anyone who does anything we wouldn't do
Diva - any female singer, no matter what age or how she behaves
Legend - anyone who's been around for more than six months

But my current bugbear is generation, as in 'the best band of their generation' or 'we've not seen their like for a generation'.

Isn't a generation meant to be 35 years? In which case Oasis, currently being touted as the best band of their generation, should by rights lose out to Sailor. I think this whole generation thing is now taken to mean the last 10 years. Correct me if I'm wrong of course - and I know at least one person will - but I'm sure this can't be the correct usage of this phrase.

Here's the best band of their generation, then:

6 comments:

Cocktails said...

The problem is that, even if a generation is 35 years, when does it start? I'm 35 and Sailor aren't the best band of MY generation. But then again, neither is Oasis...

Chris Hughes said...

See also "anthems" (songs) and "on the planet" (in the world).

Ishouldbeworking said...

I've always battled with the 'when does a generation begin' notion. World Wars used to provide a handy benchmark,ie, those who were old enough to fight were deemed the 'war generation' (even though recruitment actually covered a 20-year age span) but we've not had one of those for a while now.

Suzy Norman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzy Norman said...

Suzy Norman said...
I think there"s a slight generational difference between my brother and I. He's only 12 years younger but uses different phrases, like 'that's gay' for embarrassing. If I tried that I'd look like I was trying too hard to be young. When he was growing up he ate Chambourcy real chocolate mousse and suchlike and had micro chips instead of home-made chip-pan ones. It wasn't like when we were young.

Five-Centres said...

Well there is that. When it comes to music and foods and TV we can be world's apart. But I think in real terms it's meant to mean 35 years - but as Cocktails says, when does that start and end?

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