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by Dave Friant

Beginning of another 12 months with expectations of good tidings heading our way. Warmth will again settle in soon for a delightful Spring. In the interim during our shivering shakedowns and windshield ice removals, thought I’d explore some communication connections. Specifically, comparisons of figurative language from yesteryear compared to the unique expressions of newer generations. Interactions over the holidays with the grandchildren, and the befuddled look on my face with modern-day lingo, prompted the probe.

The jury might still be out for the remainder of the winter regarding how wise a decision it was to go this route. We’ll see. Snuggle up around the fireplace and enjoy the examination. Make me aware of your opinions on this piece and/or others through an e-mail to Don’t beat around the bush. Like a bloodied Mike Tyson opponent in the 3rd round, I can take it. Mixed in will be an intended hearty helpin’ of humor. Laughter, or at least some form of favorable facial maneuverings during these days of political hullabaloo and cultural absurdities, is a tasty mental health cocktail for what ails ya. NOTE: Even if it’s currently colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg, a hot toddy was not consumed during the preparation of this column.

Modern-day expression offerings by newer sets of offspring differ significantly from those used by the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers. They’re short. Gibberish in need of a steroid injection. Rare use of similies or hyperboles which always seem to tantalize interests. Ripe for misreads by us “old fogies” who routinely fail to understand the jargon involved. Seems to me that youngins’ (comparatively speaking) fail to register a passing grade on vivid imageries. Cognitive declines on our part to think so? Possibly. We are on a bumpier road these days; muddling through arthritic concerns and taking medications for a variety of ailments as we continue the journey.

Trendy efforts to interface with others tend to be less meaty these days. Nothing to sink all or most of our original 36 chompers (or otherwise) into. Puzzling in many cases. What went haywire? Anybody’s guess. Parental shortcomings? Possibly. Laziness? Probably. Some academically gifted studiers of such matters point to the addictive nature of social media platforms and texting. Seems the Devil’s delightful 2” x 4” I-phone, with all of its’ crafty abilities to establish contact with others and provide all sorts of information, is becoming a foe to human interactions. The negatives of such handheld computer wizardry in so many cases seem to outweigh the positives. Why establish actual talking relationships with one another when tapping some keys will do the trick?

I digress.

A few idioms going back to Boomer days and before include Pick Yourself Up by the Bootstraps, Don’t Flip Your Wig, Too Many Irons in the Fire, and You Sound Like a Broken Record. Approaches heavy on sensory perceptions. More clear-sighted imageries than those used in these “modern times.” One of my mom’s favorites was, I’m so Hungry I Could Eat a Horse and Chase the Jockey. This was a mind-blower given her trim figure. Not the case with yours truly. My incessant appetite for a variety of delicacies has resulted in various levels of defensive lineman-type plumpness over the years. Vivid in my still operational long-term memory was an experience during my 3rd year of marriage when I grubbed out on some Wonder Bread toast. I returned home after having played in a softball tournament earlier on this particular Saturday. Two or three slices of average-at-best no topping pizza had been scarfed down earlier in the day. For reasons still under investigation in my mind, I buttered and scarfed down 7, yes S-E-V-E-N, slices of toasted bread over 30 or so minutes! No bets involved. Strictly lunacy. For two, half-hour each episodes of post-midnight trips to the bathroom, I needless to say upchucked the results of the earlier indulgences. Associated with PTSD restrictions, further details have been redacted for the welfare of the general public.

Some examples of Millennial and post-millennial generational head scratchers are Throw Shade (an insult to someone in a subtle way), Whatever (I don’t care what you say), Left Me on Read (read a text and don’t respond), and Ghosting (ending a personal relationship suddenly and without explanation). Am I missing something? Has the brain turned to mush as I attempt to decipher nothing close to vivid imageries?

Understood is the reality of living in a modern and tech-savvy world. Time is of the essence. I get it. . . sorta. But why are efforts to communicate, with a bit of humor tossed in when appropriate, so often not being undertaken? Hopefully I’ve not Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew with these observations. Stay warm. Throw that heavy-duty quilt on the bed for another 6 weeks, and don’t be Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ with others who fail to share your opinion on matters of the day.

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