|Saturday, July 12, 2003||
THE words of a society reflect its events, trends and customs. Todayís words reflect the ever-altering trend of human society. They are all words to do with particular generations in time. Most of these lexical items are a creation of popular culture. For the present, a majority of these words are more a part of American English but looking at global trends, it wonít be long before all these words become a part of the corpus of English.
The trend of naming
generations as per a signature feature can be traced to a book written
by Charles Hambert and Jane Deversen, entitled Generation X, published
in 1964. This novel is a science fiction work set in the final decades
of the twentieth century. Henceforth, Generation X came to be applied
to a generation of young people perceived to lack a sense of direction
in life and with no part to play in society. In the late 1980s and
early 90s, the young adults coming of age around those years were
perceived as a lost generation, people who had lurched from two world
wars into a period of sustained growth and finally, into a period of
recession. At a time of high unemployment rates, easily accessible
entertainment and readily available escape routes like drugs and
alcohol, the Generation Xers, like their peers, the slackers, are
regarded as lacking motivation and shirking responsibility.
These words set in motion a complete, new trend that led to quite a few neologisms. Generation XL came to be used for children or young adults who are overweight. The generation that has grown up with and is completely at home with digital devices and digital culture is known as Generation Y. Gen-N refers to the generation born since the advent of the personal computer. This has led to the generation lap, the tendency for young people to be increasingly more technically savvy than their parents or elders. The Nexus Generation is another name for Generation Xers who represent, to some, a link or nexus between the Industrial Age and the Information Age. The sandwich generation is the people who must care for both their children and their parents, people who have finished raising their children and now must take care of their aging parents.
the Hindi word that means offspring or children, comes from Sanskrit. It
is derived from the root tana, which means to grow and spread
out. The Sanskrit tanay and tanaya, son and daughter
respectively, also come from the same root. The Mahabharata uses santaan
in the sense of the propagation of a family and this figurative use led
to the literal santaan.