BL: ergonomics
Posted: 13 October 2014 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]
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A noted scientist falls victim to the recency illusion.

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Posted: 14 October 2014 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So the term comes much to early to be the result of aging Baby Boomers, the first of which were only toddlers when the term and the discipline came into existence.

“To” should be “too,” and “of which” should be “of whom” (unless, like some of the younger generations, you do not regard baby boomers as people).  Also, why the caps on Baby Boomers?

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Posted: 14 October 2014 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Corrected. I was rushing to get out the door as I was finishing this one, and missed a couple of obvious errors.

Although I’ve noticed a large number of my students who use that and which for people instead of who, so the language may be a’changing. (But I generally try to avoid it myself, and I only correct my students if they’re pretty good writers. I figure there are more important things to correct with the others.)

I’m not sure why I capitalized baby boomer. I’ve seen it both ways. But I agree, the lower case is better.

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Posted: 14 October 2014 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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why the caps on Baby Boomers?

Interesting question.  “Baby boomers” is, I understand, a term peculiar to the U.S., referring to the increased rate of population growth observed there after WW2. In other words, a unique, once-off phenomenon, like WW2 itself, or the Wild West, or the Lost Generation (does anyone still use that expression, apart from social historians?). In that case, surely, isn’t it just as appropriate to write Baby Boomers as it is to write World War Two? Why not caps on baby boomers? Why are lower case initials “better”? Before the above question was raised, I’d have capitalized Baby Boomers myself, if I’d ever had occasion to write the phrase. For non-Americans (who are, I suspect, the majority of the world’s English readers, though I haven’t tried to count), the capitals serve to emphasize the particularity of the term.

Aside: When, and how, did “particular” come to have the senses it does today, so different from, say, “particulate”?

(Edited to replace “speakers” with “readers”, which makes much more sense)

[ Edited: 15 October 2014 12:28 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 15 October 2014 02:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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But it’s also one in a series of names for the various generations in the US population:
--GI generation (or Greatest Generation, thanks to Tom Brokaw), 1900–24
--silent generation, 1925–45
--baby boomers, 1946–64
--Gen Xers, 1965–79
--Millennials (also Gen Y), 1980–2000)
--Gen Zers, 2000–present

(There is some variation in the names and the dates.)

The names Gen X and Millennial are almost always capitalized.

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Posted: 15 October 2014 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Why not caps on baby boomers?

An interesting philosophical question, but I’m not a philosopher.  My concern is with usage, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it capitalized before; ergo, it is not normatively capitalized (for whatever reason).

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Posted: 15 October 2014 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m surprised he gave any credence to that origin.  Baby boomers wouldn’t be “old” until the mid-80s at the earliest, and I can’t believe that someone with a general interest in science and technology never heard the term during his later school days and at University. Or did it take a while to cross into common use in the USA?  In the UK I can remember it being a buzz-word in the 60s on TV technology programmes like “Tomorrow’s World”.

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Posted: 15 October 2014 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Huh.  My subjective sense is that I’ve seen both Baby Boomer and baby boomer, and that the former is a tiny bit more common (though I would place no money on at all on the last part of that comment.)

I did a quick Google check, and found a 50/50 capitalization split in the top 14 hits.  The top hits were newspaper articles, Wikipedia entries, and similar things.  In some case the google teaser was a headline, where every word was capitalized, so I clicked on those links to see what was done in the body of the article.  Obviously that is by no means dispositive proof of anything, but it fits with my subjective sense that both capitalization forms are fairly common.

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Posted: 16 October 2014 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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FWIW, Google ngrams shows baby boomer far outscoring Baby Boomer with AmE and BrE showing comparable curves.

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Posted: 27 October 2014 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Does anyone else join me in having a small involuntary shiver at people who are now all going to be at least in their 50s, and mostly in their 60s, being described with a phrase that includes the word “baby”? (Declaration of interest: I’m squarely in that demographic myself ...)

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Posted: 27 October 2014 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Zythophile - 27 October 2014 11:44 AM

Does anyone else join me in having a small involuntary shiver at people who are now all going to be at least in their 50s, and mostly in their 60s, being described with a phrase that includes the word “baby”? (Declaration of interest: I’m squarely in that demographic myself ...)

As one to whom the term applies, I’d suggest we try to come up with a whimsical replacement, say...Gerry Boomers, as in geriatric baby boomers.  I don’t feel geriatric yet, but I can grow into the term in a decade or so.
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Posted: 27 October 2014 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Burial boomers (in another decade or two).

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Posted: 28 October 2014 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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How about “carnality boomers”? This suggestion assumes, of course, that you boomers are the outcome of a surge in amorous activity, rather than of sabotage in the “Trojans” manufacturing plant, or other cause. It has a hint of vigour and potency, which should please those who squirm at an association with infantility; and could be abbreviated to “c-boomers”, by anyone who hesitates to utter words like carnality.

;-)

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Posted: 28 October 2014 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dr. Techie - 27 October 2014 12:36 PM

Burial boomers (in another decade or two).

As a pre-baby boomer I thank you for this memento mori

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