For those who may not be aware (and why should you, unless you're stalking me - and if you are I'm kind of OK with it) one of my side jobs involves mentoring High School age students.
Regularly being around groups of what we might refer to as 'the young people' occasionally makes a couple things apparent to the casual observer.
1. Apparently they're not fond of being referred to as 'The Young People'
2. I'm old.
This second point was brought home to me yet again the other night when I referred to something as 'Totes awesome' and was greeted by pitying stares. Eventually one of them said, 'Yeah... you need to stop...'
This sort of thing is, of course, more or less to be expected and not particularly surprising, but a more oblique example came up this week when one of my students was (for reasons that aren't important here) listing the names of things along the street. (Tree. Tree. Hydrant. Tree. Mailbox. Tree)
Getting into the spirit of the list I chimed in with, 'Hobo'.
Again, the blank stares.
After an awkward moment I said, 'You know... like a drifter. A..um.. Miscreant? Ne'er do well?'
Then, to the relief of all, I dropped the subject and they went back to talking about whatever the young people are talking about these days.
The question I'm left with is - Do we not say 'Hobo' anymore? Is the term so completely out of fashion that they've never heard it? Is this a knock-on effect of our information age where it's now (in the US in any case) nearly impossible to completely drop off the grid and ride the rails from town to town helping people and occasionally turning into the incredible hulk?
Remember the Hobo, people. His lovable DT-ridden visage shall not again this way pass.