I’m Not THAT Old . . . But

3 July 2007

I’m 57 this month but sometimes feel that I landed in 2007 from another planet.  I’ve already whinged about my dislike of the new marketing speak . . . words like lifestyle make me cringe.

I don’t think I’m someone who resists change in particular, or harks back to the Good Old Days, but some new inventions and changes rather leave me baffled.

1.   I’ve had a mobile phone for about 11 years so can definitely appreciate the value of instant communication (“Would you pick me up from the station in 5 minutes, please” etc)  But I keep getting calls from the Philippines or Bangalore telling me of the fantastic deals I’m missing out on.  Apparently, if I pay about $100 each month, I’ll get unlimited calls or some other wonderful perk.  A HUNDRED DOLLARS!  I think I’ve had a particularly expensive month if I spend $20.  I really don’t feel the need to spend the entire train journey to the city and back discussing my sex life with my closest acquaintances nor to conduct conference calls on the bus, which is something I was forced to listen to last week.  (“Hello Mike, it’s John, I’ve got Bill on the line and Peter is joining us.  Are you there, Peter? I wanted to discuss that contract with you all” !!)  Do these people think we can’t hear, or do they just not care?

2.   When did a backpack/rucksack move from being an essential piece of camping or bushwalking equipment to becoming the accessory of choice for the office?  Apart from the fact that I really don’t think it complements an expensive business suit, either male or female, I’m so fed up with being smashed across the face every time the person standing next to me on the train moves. 

3.   When did “was like” become synonymous with “said”?  As in “My mother was like You’re not going out in that and I was like Whatever” etc etc ad nauseum.  It seemed to happen overnight and now appears to be universal English.  I’ve heard it used by Australians, Americans and the English. 

I think this is a subject I’ll be revisiting as I feel better already for having got it off my chest!



  1. I am on the other side of the world, and a year older than you. I agree with every point. Manners are sinking fast, my mother would indeed have said “You’re not going out dressed like that” if we put a backpack on over Sunday church clothes, and the grammatical language has been replaced by something we might call “idiot-speak.” Sadly, it’s probably universal and not limited to the English-speaking world.

  2. I remember (I’m over 50 too, so it’s okay!) being on a train in Brisbane going to Expo ’88. Kylie Mole was a popular comedic character then (I can’t remember the name of the tv show). Several teenage girls on the train were talking just like her: “then she goes and he goes and I go” etc. That was bad enough but the current prediliction for like is incredibly annoying (especially as I’m an English teacher!! LOL)

  3. What my sister Sally didn’t mention is that I’m 60 this year – her birthday is just two days after mine. We were both due on the same day, three years apart, but I came a day earlier than the due date, and she came a day later. My parents didn’t tell me it was my third birthday (just let it come and go) and then, when she was born, said “Look what we’ve got you for a birthday present!”. I think that merely making derogatory comments on her housework is pretty restrained in the circs…

    (With gritted teeth)I totally agree with what she says about language. Nobody now seems able to tell anything in reported speech. It is, indeed, always, “She was like ‘Where are you going?’ and I said like ‘What’s it to you?'”, etc, etc. I h8 it.

  4. It’s me again! I remember a lovely Punch cartoon some years ago when I was on a daily commute to and from London. It showed two City businessmen standing over a young man whose huge rucksack had obviously got too much for him and toppled him onto his back, where he lay waving his arms and legs in the air, trying to rise. One man said to the other, “I believe if you don’t turn them over quickly, they die”.

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