“Generation X”

In North America, people born between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s are referred to as being part of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Their children belong to “Generation X”. The term is normally used to refer to people born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s. There is no agreement among scholars about the exact years. Generation X has certain negative connotations associated with it. The people belonging to this generation are supposed to be “materialistic”, “apathetic”, and “irresponsible”. They lack a sense of direction. All this is reflected in the other terms used to refer to this generation, “Baby Busters”, “Slackers”, and “Grunge Kids.” The term, “Generation X” was first used by Paul Fussel in one of his articles. But it wasn’t until 1991 when Douglas Coupland used “Generation X” as the title of his novel that the term caught on. It became a household word thanks to advertisers. By the way, any idea what the generation following X is called? Generation Y! Pretty logical, wouldn’t you say?

S. UPENDRAN,  The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, Feb 21, 2005

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