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With 50 in the Rearview Mirror

Things We're Too Old to Say

Sounding off on slang we should drop

Kick it. If you're in your 50s or 60s, in a rock band and still being paid — even at state fairs — this is OK. Only if.

As if. Along with "Dream on" and "I'm so sure," this is another bit of bytes-generation banter, shorthand for a dismissal in the most certain terms. When we say it, we sound as if we believe we are 20.

Whatever. If, when you hear it, this single word makes you want to hurt yourself and the speaker, how do you think people feel when you say it?

Hot or any derivation thereof — unless it refers to the air temperature on the 10th tee or the tingle of the habaneros.

Totes or any derivation thereof — unless you mean that clever little travel umbrella, not the text-form of "totally" … and as for "totally," well, that goes without saying.

Sick! or any derivation thereof — unless handed a pencil-shavings-flavored jellybean. Today, of course, as now used, this is meant to connote something wonderful, as in "He is so hot and his car is totally sick!"

The next few beggar even codification.

It's a Snooki thang.

Friend me.

I heart you.

There. We can do this together. I'm just sayin'.

Or, are you worried? It seems that only last week we were working on a groovy thing and now we're on the verge of exclaiming, "My word!"

Nah. We're way too you-know-what for that, and the coolest speak loudest when they whisper.

Key: ROFB means "roll on the floor barfing."

Jacquelyn Mitchard is a best-selling author of more than 20 novels, including The Deep End of the Ocean, the first selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her next novel appears in September.

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