Class of 2014 unfamiliar with watches, cursive

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“Snail mail’s kind of fun. When I have time, I like writing letters to friends and family,” she said. “It’s just a bit more personal. And yes, I write in cursive.”

Miss Peck did agree with the item pointing out that most teens have never used telephones with cords.

“Yes, I’ve used them, but only at my grandparents’ house,” she said.

That’s the sort of comment that can make a person feel old.

Mr. McBride jokes that he’s not immune from feeling ancient just because he compiles the items. But the 65-year-old said the lists also can reveal a larger truth about tolerance.

The “Beavis and Butt-head” item suggests that maybe parents shouldn’t overreact every time a controversy arises, he noted.

For example, maybe it’s no big deal if college freshmen misspell words when they text, and maybe their attention spans will be just fine even though they grew up in the Internet age, he said.

“There’s something about the resilience of human nature that renders these gloom-and-doom prophecies moot after a while,” he said. “I can’t say for sure, but it looks like the track record of these very anxious prophets has not been impressive over the years.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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