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How Millennials Changing Use of Slang Affects English Language

How Millennials Changing Use of Slang Affects English Language
on July, 07 2015

10 questions to test your knowledge of millennial slang

Millennials, or the generation of people born between 1982 and 2004 (although there are some discrepancies about the proposed dates that would make a person a “millennial”), have sparkled the interest of marketers and employers in recent years, as they become more and more the main workforce of first-world countries.

This group’s culture is all about social media, the Internet, being witty, sincere and ironic at the same time. For them, everything goes at incredible speed. That’s why acronyms and shortened words like “totes” (“totally”), “feels” (“feelings”), “indie” (“independent”), “jellie” (“jealous”), “TTYL” (“talk to you later”) and “IMHO” (“in my humble opinion”) are so popular among them. They have to save as much time as they can! In order to keep up, companies need to learn their language, adapt and change at the same super-fast pace, or else they won’t be able to communicate with this economically important age group.

Language, as a dynamic entity, is subject to all sorts of changes. Language is a reflection of the philosophy, beliefs and way of thinking of every generation, and Generation Y is not an exception.

Millennials thrive on the culture of ME: I post selfies, I change my status, I love to get new followers, friends, direct messages, “hearts” and “likes”. It is so much about oneself that, instead of “I like that girl”, a millennial would say that “she can get it”, meaning “she can get ME”.

This is also an age group characterized by very strong feelings, so inexplicably strong that they “can’t even”. Can’t even put it in words, that is.

In spite of all the technology and fast paced environment that they are submerged in, this generation is curiously fond of “ye olde times” of the 70´s and 80´s. The “TBT” (“Throw Back Thursday”) hashtag and the retro Instagram filters are proof of that.

At this point, you may have heard of some millennial slang words like “YOLO” (“You Only Live Once”), “twerk”, “FOMO” (“Fear Of Missing Out”), and the infamous “swag” (seriously, stop using it, it’s not cool anymore), there are some very distinctive slang words that characterize this very particular group of people and have revolutionized today’s language.

So, without further ado, here are 10 questions to find out how much you know about the slang of millennials.

  1. A millennial would call their significant other:
    1. Bae
    2. Frenemy
    3. Basic
  1. When someone is doing something amazing, or is on top of their game, that person is:
    1. Slaying
    2. Throwing shade
    3. Diggin’ it
  1. The following word does not have negative connotations:
    1. Sickening
    2. Drama
    3. Generic
  1. It is a good thing that a person:
    1. “Slides into the DM´s” when flirting
    2. Tells “Bye, Felicia” to others
    3. Is always “flexing”
  1. When a person says something like “It’s nice to see how you let your kids do whatever they want”, it is said that the person is:
    1. Throwing shade
    2. Wifing up
    3. Getting swole
  1. “Basic” is someone or something that:
    1. Is very tedious or boring
    2. Shows class and good manners
    3. Is amazing or unbelievable
  1. A photo of a whale wearing a sombrero and dancing cha-cha is considered:
    1. Random
    2. On fleek
    3. Turnt
  1. The acronym “TL;DR” means that:
    1. You would like a summary, because it is too much information
    2. The lyrics of a song are correct
    3. You are going to drive to your destination
  1. “Crickets”, “legit” and “just sayin’ ” are said:
    1. At the end of a sentence, and they mean different things
    2. Randomly to suggest that what is said is true
    3. At the end of a sentence, but they all mean the same
  1. When something is beyond your expectations, you may say:
    1. Yaaasss!
    2. Dead!
    3. Epic!
    4. All of the above

So, how did you do?

If your answers were “a”, except in #10, which correct answer is “d”, then you are either a savvy millennial slang connoisseur, or a millennial yourself. In any case, it is very interesting to see how English language changes and evolves over time, and how languages in general are a dynamic reflection of society and humankind.

Got dat?

Day Translations Team

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