My parents hadn’t long lived in England when I was born and my grandparents, who we lived with at the time, found learning a new language at their age quite a challenge. As a result my first language was Greek. I didn’t really speak English until I began nursery at the age of three or so. Once I’d grasped that, I then had to get the hang of the phrases too.
I was born in the earlier half of the 1970s. My memories include watching fat old men in tight leotards wrestling each other on Saturday afternoons, listening to terribly un-PC comedians on Saturday Night at the London Palladium, then putting up with other comedians making dreadfully catchy yet embarrassingly awful records (yes, records. That’s as in vinyl LPs. What do you mean you don’t know what they are?).
Thanks to Michael Jackson ‘bad’ meant ‘good’, you were either ‘cool’ or ‘hot, hot, hot’ – both pretty acceptable compliments, and kids would run around the playground saying ‘phone home’ in annoying voices or shouting ‘loadsamoney!’ depending on what was in the cinema or on the television that week.
Nowadays, our children find it hard to believe we were ever young although I suspect they have a harder time believing it of their father than of me. Mike has a habit of saying ‘coolio’ which makes us all cringe. The children point out that he has never been cool and is even less so now with this annoyingly oft-said phrase of his. We learnt not so long ago from my cousin’s 20-something year-old that ‘winning’ is the phrase of the time. It apparently means that something is pleasing or going well, as far as I can make out.
We had a go at this language quiz by Sun Life which we found incredibly entertaining. All you have to do is select your answer from the multiple choices provided and it then hazards a guess at how old you are. I was extremely cynical but admit that my mouth fell open when it guessed my age as being 40 (I’m 25*). I know, it’s ever so silly but did make me smile after a trying week. Click on over to have a go yourself and let me know if it was as accurate for you as it was for me.