Generation: the entire group of individuals born and living at about the same time

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Xavier da Silva, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello everyone,

    Does "generation" meaning (the entire group of individuals born and living at about the same time - W.R Dictionary) sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

    a. You have to be patient with John. He is of a different generation, which means he might usually think differently from you and might not like the same things as you do.
    b. Wow! Look at this movie! It's from my generation! It seems like yesterday! Really cool!
    c. I think I don't enjoy this musical style because it's not from my generation.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Juhasz Senior Member

    English - United States
    Sentence a is not bad, but it would be improved by changing the preposition to "from" ("He's from a different generation"), which simply sounds a little more natural.

    The other two are fairly common constructions, but they're pretty ambiguous. Is a movie from your generation one that was born (released) during the years that correspond to the birth date range of your generation? Or is it a movie that's released at a time you were old enough to be in the target audience? I found a quotation in which Martin Scorsese declares that the film Giant is "from [his] generation" while the film Chinatown is from Paul Thomas Anderson's. Scorsese was born in 1942, Giant came out in 1956, so he would have been 12 and may have seen the movie in theaters when it was first released. Anderson was born in 1970 and Chinatown was released in 1974 - the four-year-old Anderson probably did not watch Chinatown when it came out (Conversations with Scorsese). In both cases, the films were released within the periods corresponding to the filmmakers' generations (Scorsese is a baby boomer: 1940s - 1960s; Anderson belongs to Generation X: 1960s - 1970s).

    You can also find clear examples of the other meaning: "I couldn’t help but compare it to The Breakfast Club (1985), a teen movie from my generation (I graduated high school the year the film was released)" (The Perks of 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'). The author belongs to Generation X, but the film came out while Generation Y kids were being born.
     
  3. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thank you very much.

    I understand the ambiguity, and it also exists in Portuguese. What I actually meant by "from my generation" was that "the movie was made at a time I was old enough to be in the target audience - and identified with things on it (styles, language, fashion etc).''
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  4. Juhasz Senior Member

    English - United States
    I'd guess that most people, when hearing this phrase (from my generation), assume it means something like made at a time when I was in the target audience. So yes, you can probably use it fairly safely. There are more exact ways of saying the same thing, but they may be too wordy or complex.
     
  5. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thank you very much. It's clear now.
     

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