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Bridging the Gap

Have you ever had an argument with your parents or your children that ended in the words, “You don’t understand me at all? ” Almost everyone has heard or spoken these words at least once before. Is this a true statement? Is there a language gap between generations? Yes, there is an absolutely amazing difference between the language of “Generation X” and their parents. There is a system of language which the younger generation understands and uses and the older generation just cannot fathom. I will break down the “Generation X” slang terms into the part of speech and definition of each word.

Maybe, with a little help, older adults and younger adults will be able to communicate with each other more easily and more freely. First, I will begin with nouns. The slang nouns most commonly used are “scrub,” “pigeon,” and “baller. ” “Scrub” is a word used in reference to a man. “Scrubs” are guys with no money, no ambition, and no morals. These are men who are twenty-five years old and still live with their parents. They think they are everything a man could want to be yet are known as losers. A scrub has a girlfriend but still plays the field.

He has no job yet pretends to have everything. A “scrub” is a guy whom most girls would not stoop to date. “Pigeons ” are the female version of “scrubs. ” “Pigeons” are girls that sleep around and try to get everything they possibly can from a man. This can include everything from clothes, jewelry, cars, and, of course, money. “Ballers” are the kind of guys “pigeons” go for. They are usually popular, good-looking men with nice cars and nice homes. The one thing that makes a “baller” a “baller” is money. “Ballers” are never without funds for that is how they got their title.

A “baller’s” money usually comes from sources unknown to their friends and family. A common source of income for a “baller” is drug distribution. Each of these is commonly used by younger people today. Next, I will break down the verbs. Such words as “trippin’,” “chillin’,” and “bouncing” are common terms among most high school and college campuses. The word “trippin'” can have many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. For example, if someone says, “You’re trippin’,” he or she is saying that the person they are talking to is overreacting to something.

Trippin'” can also mean the act of using a drug commonly known as acid. If a young adult were to say, “We are all trippin’ tonight,” this means that everyone included in the word “we” will be taking acid that night. Generally, the first definition is more common. Next, I will define “chillin’. ” “Chillin'” is one of the most simple expressions used by the younger generation today. It is commonly used as a verb meaning “to relax. ” If someone says they are “chillin’,” it usually means that they are hanging out with friends, relaxing, and watching television or listening to the radio.

Finally, we get to discover the meaning of “bounce. ” If someone says that they are going to “bounce,” it simply means that they are leaving. There is no hidden meaning here. It means nothing more than “to leave. ” Slang is obviously very easy to understand, once a definition for each word has been established. Finally, I will discuss adjectives. The words “bumping,” “pimp,” “shive,” and “ghetto” come to mind. “Bumping” is a word usually used to describe a stereo system, party, or nightclub. If someone’s stereo system is “bumping,” it has quality sound and good bass.

If a party or a club is “bumping,” then that is the place to be. These places have the best music and the most people. Everyone wants to be at a “bumping” club or party. The next two words are extremely similar. “Pimp” and “shive” both refer to objects. This can include anything from a car to clothing, from shoes to a home. “Pimp” and “shive” both mean that whatever is being described is nice and trendy. For example, a “pimped out ride” means a nice car, one the speaker would like to have. A “shive ride” means the same thing.

Finally, we come to one of my favorite words. Ghetto” is a word I use quite often. “Ghetto” is a word used to describe anything or anyone that is not up to standard. This can include everything from a person to a car. Anything that is described as “ghetto” is not pleasing in any manner. The creativity of “generation X” shines through in their choice of adjectives. As one can plainly see, there is an enormous gap in communication between the two generations. Hopefully, with a little patience, the two will be able to understand each other without having to consult a dictionary. This paper is a beginning step to this goal.

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