My word, I’m old

Another birthday, and another clutch of cards about how old I am.  Yes, that’s really going to cheer me up.  (The fact that it’s also the International Day of Happiness doesn’t help; it just feels as though the world’s taking the mick.)

It’s not just on birthdays that I’m aware of my age, though.  The persistent aches and pains, and the involuntary low grunts when standing up or sitting down are constant reminders – as are the quizzical looks and laughter I get when I use certain words.

It’s becoming increasingly evident that some of my vocabulary now sounds dated to the extent that our children think it should be carbon-dated.

There are sniggers when I suggest going to the pictures.  There are snorts when I mention something I heard on the wireless.  And if I ask someone to tape a programme on TV…

It’s easy to see why these words now seem old-fashioned; technology has moved on so much, after all.  But I use plenty of other words and phrases which are now considered to be past it for reasons which pass me by.

Wireless technology

Here’s a list, to which I’ll add as more occur to me (or, more likely, are pointed out to me):




Jolly good



Wreck of the Hesperus (used to describe a total mess)






Whippersnapper (or worse, a ne’er-do-well)

Brontosaurus (apparently it’s called an Apatosaurus now)

Threepenny bits (non-PC as well as outdated…)

Slide rule

Young feller-me-lad


Carbon copy (before you can explain what this was, you have to explain what a typewriter was)

Gordon Bennett


Fuddy-duddy (the very use of the word makes you sound like one)

I’m not sure that making a conscious effort to use more modern language is going to help, though.  The other day I suggested getting an Uber to go somewhere, only for my wife to reply, ‘Ooh, listen to you trying to sound with it!’

I can’t win.