I would like to use the word "Millenial" in an article. This is a reference to people between (roughly) 18-30. Is this a common enough term to use? Will the average reader know exactly what I am talking about?

closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, simchona, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, user2683, Matt E. Эллен Jun 27 '12 at 10:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    No. It should be spelled Millennial and it's been in use for a long time and it only occasionally means what you describe as its "reference". Thus, the average reader is unlikely to understand what you are talking about without a lot of help from you. This is generally true for all readers and writers. – John Lawler Jun 27 '12 at 2:37
  • I have heard it more and more recently....there's a mention of the term, spelled, as John Lawler says, millennials, in Wikipedia's Generation Y article. Maybe Generation Y would be more widely understood. – JLG Jun 27 '12 at 2:43
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    I've never heard this meaning, and to be honest if someone used it I would think them ignorant, not erudite. Particularly so soon after we've just started a new millennium, making the relating to a thousand years meaning positively commonplace. – FumbleFingers Jun 27 '12 at 2:44
  • @JLG: That's a pretty daft usage meaning "the generation born shortly before or after the new millennium", not "people aged 18-30". – FumbleFingers Jun 27 '12 at 2:49
  • I used this word but I don't know about "18-30 yrs". My understanding is that a person who lives in 2 millenniums(end of one and beginning of other) is a millennial. – Fr0zenFyr Jun 27 '12 at 4:11

The term Millennial has been used by news sources such as CNN, Time Magazine, and USA Today to describe people approximately between the ages of 18 and 30. However, note that each source also explicitly defines the relevant age group within the article, and note also that they are all less than 14 months old and were written for a US news-consuming audience. So, the term may still not be immediately clear to most readers. I'll add that the term Generation Y is much more familiar to me than Millennial, and conclude by saying that whatever word you choose should be tailored to your audience.

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