Thursday, 15 March 2018

The minging generation

I saw a poster today for a cleaning product (at least I assume that’s what it was for) which simply said “microwave ming?” I assume the poster was asking passers by if we felt that our microwave ovens were smelly, dirty, or, as we might have said when I was at university, “minging.” I haven’t heard the word shortened to “ming” for many years. “That thing mings!” we’d say, or “that is ming!” If you were feeling particularly fancy, you might have said, “that’s ming-de-mong-de-wacky-de-honky.” Don’t ask me why! 

Anyway, it suddenly struck me that I’d never seen the word “ming” written down in any other context than Chinese dynasties and fancy vases. Seeing it on the billboard really took me back. But do the kids still refer to things as ming? Or is this an example of an advertising person trying to hit on a wave of nostalgia from the much-maligned and utterly inconsequential Generation X, who have had their babies now and are now obsessing about the mess their soon-to-be-teenaged-children are leaving everywhere?

I’m ashamed to admit that my generation hasn’t really offered a great deal to the world. Our talented people were silenced by moguls like Simon Cowell and replaced with pretty people who briefly captured the zeitgeist, generated money for the generation above and then disappeared from sight. Our politicians created Brexit and then pretended nothing was wrong. We can’t afford houses of our own. We don’t have proper pensions. All we’ve really got to offer the world is a mass market for cleaning produce! Perfect.

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