Snide-ex with Stridex

The Little Monkey, once known as thteenagers2e Little Monster, turns 13 this month.

Since we met him close to his 6th birthday, this means we have finally tipped the scales: He’s now been our son for more than half his life. Last year’s milepost of being a family for half his life seemed it would never get here, but now the time is rushing by, and our scales will soon look like the heavily lopsided comparison of our wedding-day weights to our current poundage.

According to my bossy sidekick, Merriam-Webster, “teenage” begins at age 13, so I dread a return to more Monster than Monkey. The L is also now more Large than Little.

However, as I dozed off to an audio book recently—as I do at an embarrassing early hour every evening, missing great swaths of books but still proclaiming I have “read” them—my eyes popped open at this sentence by Bill Bryson:

The word teenager had only been coined in 1941.*

Even more incredibly, I remembered the sentence the next morning.

Teenagers as we currently know them (and wished we didn’t) did not exist 75 years ago?

If you ask me, it’s no coincidence that a World War began in the same year as the birth of the term teenager.Read More »