Words Old and New

a dictionary opened to the page that shows the word dictionary

Language is fluid. It evolves and morphs over time, like it or not. Those of us working alongside millennials don’t want to sound like an old fart. I’m not suggesting we adopt the millennial phraseology – egad no – but we need to relate. Many of my peers think it’s up to the twenty-somethings to do all of the work but I disagree; we can meet halfway. To that end there are words and phrases better left where they belong, in the past.


Carbon copy is an easy one. When was the last time you ended up with ink-stained hands from reproducing something with carbon paper? I can’t recall. But there are less obvious terms we still use that don’t make a lot of sense anymore.

Web surfing. When the Internet was new, this is what we called it. We were already adults. It was new terminology for a new thing. Our younger colleagues grew up with it. It’s just there and doesn’t need a sporty name to explain it.

A Dear John letter. This originated in the Great War when a soldier would receive a letter from his girl back home, telling him she wouldn’t wait for him after all. She had met someone new or changed her mind. We could barely relate to it, let alone young adults today.

Chesterfield. It’s an old timey brand name and a surname. A couch is a piece of furniture.

Rolodex. No one has these anymore. Contacts are in our phone or a directory or a pile of business cards. Someone will tell me they still have a Rolodex, but they’re the exception and no longer the rule.

“Goodnight John Boy”. I caught myself saying this late last year. The Waltons TV series went off the air in 1981. People born that year are about to turn 37. It’s just not a thing anymore, even though we know it was a big thing back then.


Now, some things millennials say that I wish they would stop.

Adorbs. It’s really not saving many letters from adorable.

Bae. Ugh. Too cute. BF or GF is even preferable when they want to say significant other.

Prolly. I hate it so much it may as well be ISIS. Probs isn’t much better. I’m sticking with probably, and that’s for certain.

Feel free to add your own outdated terms and millennial abominations in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Words Old and New”

  1. I’m totes on board with this. Lovers of the language need to get woke and keep their verbiage on fleek. Yeah, language evolves, but I’d be happy as a clam if we could keep things above board and not count the chickens before the cows come home. Trying to stop the millennials from garburating the words will be like closing the barn doors after the horses have already eaten your children.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *