I made a comment on a Facebook post (always an unwise choice), and I used a very common Internet acronym: fwiw. I also used the word troll. A woman, who I am sure is a nice person, responded and assumed I was a youngster and chided me for writing in such a way that she, an old lady (she’s younger than I am), can’t understand. I was exceedingly nice in my reply, and I explained to her about the exotic Internet-thingies. I told her she assumed wrong about my age. I silently wanted to scream.

CaptureThere is this bigotry, a stereotyping, by people “younger than” that if you are Gen X or older then you can’t possibly know how to use the Internet, or social media, or your remote control. It was amusing to see the looks on younger people’s faces at work when this old coot could problem solve a computer issue that they could not. Less amusing is the doubting looks from job interviewers, that you (someone not 23) could actually know how to use MS Office, or could know how to use both a Mac and a PC.

Note to pipsqueaks: Knowing how to Instagram does not make you tech literate. And who the eff do you think invented computers as we know them and the Internet? (All together now: Al Gore!)


You can’t ignore the people who choose to uphold their end of the stereotype, though. The nice lady also said she spends most of her days on the Internet due to a physical condition that keeps her movement to a minimum. Ok, you old farts, assuming you are mentally competent, there’s no reason for you to be so incredibly illiterate about basic computer things. Learn to use Google. If you don’t know an acronym, look it the eff up! Don’t know what a troll is? Look it the eff up! There are easy, online tutorials for so many things, and they are free. There are easy to read books, like the Dummies series.


I’m not saying you have to become an expert in C++ (look it up), but jeez-o-pete. If you were to go to a foreign country for many months, perhaps Germany, I would like to think that you’d purchase a German phrase book, understand currency exchange rates, learn what the road signs mean, and other basic things so that you can function in a strange land. Then why not do that for the Land of Internet — where you spend quite a bit of time?

Old farts continue to give old farts a bad name, and the youngsters run with it. We’re memes (look it up).


PS: Why the rant in angle brackets? It is a riff on HTML (LMGTFY).


  1. OK, I admit it, I had to Google LMGTFY before I read your post. 🙂 And, you are absolutely right that everything is there to be found on Google. My wife looked up how to fix our ‘stuck’ radiator… Saved us a fortune in plumbing bills. We’d be lost without it. (There’s probably an acronym for that somewhere…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But you did google it! 🙂 ‘Tis true, the Internet can be a glorious place. I can’t imagine having all of that easy information at my fingertips when I was in school. Old farts getting semi-fluent would also help them recognize scams and fake news. I didn’t pay too close of attention to the link I put in at the very end for LMGTFY, but I did go back and check and then learned that whole site looks fairly useful. Lifewire.com fwiw

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    1. But of course! (To be read with the voice of the Grey Poupon commercial guy.) We are allowed to mock all of the things! However, Thomas, you are a mere child yourself.

      This does give me a great excuse to ask the Grammar Guy about Google. When I am referring to the site itself, I capitalize. What’s the recognized rule when a proper noun has been verbed? Is it I have googled or I have Googled? I have been lower-casing it. I would say I xeroxed it. Well, I’d say I photocopied something, but you know.

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      1. CMoS doesn’t have anything to say specifically about this, but it does say that adjectives derived from proper names should be capitalized, and it could be extrapolated that verbs ought to follow the same pattern. On the other hand, it also says that words derived from personal or geographic names that aren’t used literally (example given is swiss cheese that isn’t actually from Switzerland) are often lowercased (and even though Webster’s capitalizes some of these, CMoS prefers lowercase for these.

        So… basically, you should not capitalize if you don’t mean Google, specifically, as the search engine used, but in general it should be capitalized. (I capitalize Cameron when used as a verb… At least, I do so in my head — I’m not sure I’ve ever used it in writing.)

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        1. Well, as usual, I’ve guessed incorrectly. Googled and Xeroxed it is. I’m not going to go back and correct all of the googled to Googled, though. You lost me with Cameron. 🙂

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  2. You are the most non old farty old fart I know. I loooooove it… also I am working on replying to the getting the piss, it’s just hard because I start laughing all over again and forget critical points to address because you made so many!!!!
    ❤ the bearofcare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems fitting that you are laughing, although I’m not taking the piss. (Have no idea if that is right. I’m eagerly awaiting your tutelage.)


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