Friday, May 25, 2007


I get a word e-mailed to me everyday from Merriam Webster. I don't know how I got signed up... it wasn't like I clicked on word of the day and then on subscribe... or anything like that... But if I had I would say that they only send me the word of the day and not any ads or spam. So, I let 'em keep comin'. Anyway, enough about my coolness.

Some days I get a word that I can't believe is actually a word. And its definition so complex that it boggles the mind. Like today's word of the day, youthquake. I thought maybe a quake caused by youth, or maybe a scared child's quiver. Alas, it was neither. Ready for it?

youthquake \YOOTH-kwayk\ noun

: a shift in cultural norms influenced by the values, tastes, and mores of young people

Example sentence:The dot-com industry was the epicenter of the youthquake of the 1990s.

Did you know? The 1960s were a time of seismic social upheaval brought about by young people bent on shaking up the establishment. From politics to fashion to music, the ways of youth produced far-reaching cultural changes. Linguistically, the sixties saw the addition to English of such words as "flower child," "peacenik," "hippie," "love beads," "trippy," "vibe," "freak-out," and "love-in." Not surprisingly, it also saw the emergence of "youthquake." The first known use of "youthquake" in print comes from a 1966 article in McCall's: "the youthquake, as some call it ... has swept both sides of the Atlantic."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Hmmm I was close. But are they serious?

1 comment:

shyestviolet said...

...I don't know that I'd chalk up dotcom to the youth generation?