Question: We’ve had the X and Y generations. What comes next? Generation Z? (Asked by a curious generation wonderer via cyberspace.)

Reply: The defining and naming of a “generation” is not settled science. The topic is very general, and definitions and timeframes vary, depending on who you ask. Here’s a list that I found, which starts with the oldest generation:

• Lost Generation (1883-1900): Many fought in WWI.

• G.I. Generation (1901-24): Many fought in WWII.

• Silent Generation (1925-42): Many retirees. They are also called the “Adaptive Generation” because they had to be.

• Baby Boomers (1943-60): An idealistic generation, now coming into retirement and putting stress on the Social Security System. However, some models show the “Baby Boomers” ranging from 1946-64, to basically begin after WWII.

• Generation X (1960-81): Also known as the “Thirteenth Generation.” They are reactive and street-wise.

• Generation Y (1982-01): Also known as the “Millennial Generation,” and the “iGeneration,” due to its overlapping with the information revolution and discipline (or lack of discipline, rather) as dictated by Dr. Spock.

• Generation Z: This one is sort of difficult to define. According to Forbes Magazine, it is the generation after Millennials and is defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. They exceed the Baby Boomers in number.

I know what you’re thinking: what comes after Generation Z? It has been suggested that we do the Greek alphabet—Generation Alpha, Beta, Gamma and so on. Personally, I like the “Cyber Generation,” or maybe the “Artificial Intelligence Generation.” There’s no telling how they will turn out, but I don’t think I’ll be around to find out!

C.P.S. (Curious Postscript): “A dyslexic agnostic does not believe in Dog.” –Anonymous

Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, College of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or e-mail jerry@curiosity-corner.net. Selected questions will appear in the Curiosity Corner. For Curiosity Corner background, go to curiosity-corner.net.