I had certainly been familiar with “flakes,” people who let me down, who didn’t show up for a repair when they said they would, people who neglected to return books I had lent them, and ones who ignored social niceties. But recently, having heard people called “snowflakes,” I started to wonder what the name meant.
At first I figured that snowflakes are intricate and lovely, but that didn’t seem to go with the way the word was being used as a criticism. Then I thought that they melt easily and wondered if that was the quality alluded to. Finally I went to the internet and read up on the word. Sadly, I left somewhat confused.
Apparently one use of the word refers to the uniqueness of any given snowflake. A child can be seen by parents as incredibly special, one of a kind, and treated as royalty. Thus a spoiled child can grow into an entitled adult.
Another use seems to refer to the fragility of a snowflake. In this instance it is used in a derogatory fashion about young adults who are easily offended or triggered or demanding special treatment.
I think that if a word is this confusing perhaps people my age should avoid using it. As my grandson so pointedly told me last week “You are not up on modern culture, are you?” No, I’m not. Although I can make frequent use of 60’s slang, for me “snowflakes” will continue to refer to the stuff falling from the sky.