April 14, 2017

BuzzFeed has dropped its long-standing resistance to “millennial” and will permit usage of the word in its copy, the company announced Friday.

In a post co-published with Columbia Journalism Review, BuzzFeed copy gurus Emmy Favilla and Megan Paolone explained their decision to allow unironic use of the word:

It seems that millennials have now reclaimed millennial. Pretty soon, we were saying it grudgingly, ironically, with a bit of a wink of self-deprecation. (Yes, this is a thing we have done, and will probably continue to do, on BuzzFeed, in individualistic defiance of our style guide.)

And today we are today flying the white flag, announcing our surrender to the term’s unironic usage and acknowledging its journey from cheesy marketing buzzword we tried desperately to combat to just another everyday descriptive word in our vernacular.

BuzzFeed’s styleguide still asks that users refrain from using the term except in reference to demographics. The editors prefer “twentysomethings,” or “twenty- and thirtysomethings,” depending on the context:

millennials (avoid using this term when possible, except when referring specifically to demographics; otherwise, generally use twentysomethings, twenty- and thirtysomethings, or teens and young adults, depending on context)

BuzzFeed’s styleguide account (a good follow for references on internet language) shared the announcement on Twitter:

Correction: A previous version of this story called BuzzFeed a “social network.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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