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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"
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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"

Two weeks ago, The New York Times published a piece that has had far-ranging effects and stoked inter-generational ire just by focusing on what could be viewed as an innocuous phrase: “OK, boomer.” The article explains the rising popularity of responding to older people’s opinions by saying “OK, boomer,” referring to their belonging to the Baby Boomer generation. The phrase began among Zoomers and is meant to encapsulate the angst of Gen Z when it comes to the world they’ve inherited—and there may be some legitimacy. Millennials were the first generation worse off than the generation before them. To quote the article:

A lot of [Baby Boomers] don’t believe in climate change or don’t believe people can get jobs with dyed hair, and a lot of them are stubborn in that view. Teenagers just respond, ‘Ok, boomer.’ It’s like, we’ll prove you wrong, we’re still going to be successful because the world is changing.

 

The phrase has gained so much attention that one entrepreneurial Zoomer put a design of the words on clothing and sold more than $10,000 worth of merchandise.

Following the article, “OK, boomer” seems to have captured the cultural moment. A 25 year-old politician in New Zealand used it to silence older hecklers, The Times’ own opinion column weighed in on it, and the Internet is still abuzz with the echo of “OK, boomer” fallout weeks after the article was published.

But is it OK to say “OK, boomer?” Detractors say that at best it’s stereotypical, at worst it’s ageism. Baby Boomer proponents say that it’s a flippant phrase and shouldn’t be given more weight than it deserves.

Where do you fall in the debate? Is it OK for teens and young adults to say “OK, boomer” or are they crossing a line? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (41)
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Ok Boomer is a comment that shows the speaker has no respect for the opinion of the other person. I realize and respect that the younger generation has to inherit the world that we give them. We have let them down regarding the envirionment. This is becoming more obvious to all people everyday and collectively we should look for solutions. Negating the opinions of others is counter productive. Boomers realize they have screwed up and want to help.

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If you say "OK, Boomer" loudly to an OU Sooner fan, they may ignore the "OK" and yell back at you "Sooner" per the tradition of Oklahoma University Sooner football fans. Otherwise, the person who said "OK, Boomer" to you may be identified as having age bias. This may be good to know within the circumstances of the conversation.

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To stigmatise a group of people is wrong. You would be charged with an 'ism' if you voiced 'OK Pa#!' 'OK [email protected]#!' ' OK Ho^*' but OK Boomer is OK. No...it...is...not. I wonder were this sits in the PC conscious, woke (what ever woke actually means) peoples brains. By saying it is OK to be so patronising and stigmatising you are effectively saying we people over a certain age have less rights than younger people. It is OK to insult and demean a group of people including the late Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates whose inventions enable the great unwashed to communicate these snide insults instantaneously. So in a nutshell it is Not OK

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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." Attributed (unconfirmed) to Socrates (469-399 BC). Next verse, same as the first, a little bit newer and a lot worse!

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What is wrong with referring to people by their name (if known)rather than a "descriptive" that can be perceived as a negative?

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