Millennial Values and language

 In Modern English

If you want to communicate with the millennial generation you need to understand the relationship between millennial values and language.  Millennial jargon is very influenced by what they believe they stand for and what sets them apart from other generations.  If you understand something about millennial values, you will get millennial values and language. To speak like and speak to a millennial, here are some clues about what influences their thinking and therefore their language.

millennial values and language

There are a few qualities with which the millennial generation identifies and these really drive the kinds of words or phrases that become popular with millennials.
Milllennials want to be seen as smart and funny.  This is the main currency of the millennial self-image.  The humor is not vulgar or crass, but is clever, and the words they invent or adapt say this.
The words are authentic and original, as are they.
To be ironical but also to show that they are different to previous generations where to be cool was to be slightly cynical, millennials are dramatic, enthusiastic, happy and optimistic.  Their words reflect this and contain overly dramatic expressions, exclamation marks and exaggeration. Reality TV shows and their drama lend a lot to new Millennial expressions.
So, a word like cool gives way to ‘awesome’, ‘amazing’, ‘epi’c go to the qualities of drama, enthusiasm, exaggeration.
Words like ‘wonderful’, ‘smile’, ‘beautiful’, love,  ‘special’  reflect the values of  optimism and and the desire to be happy.
‘Legit’ is used to show that not being fake is another millennial value – authenticity
‘Epic fail’ (a failure so huge that it is funny); ‘really?’ (reaction to a very obvious statement) ‘just sayin’ (inoffensive way of showing you disapprove; ‘random’ (quirky and unexpected); generic, cheesy (obvious and not interesting); ‘after the fac’t (so typical); ‘drama’ (too over-reacting); ‘your exciting life’ (your out of control and ridiculous life) are all about being smart and funny.

If you want to communicate with the millennial generation you need to understand the relationship between millennial values and language. These examples of millennial values and language will continue to influence new words and phrase which become millennial jargon and eventually enter mainstream language.

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