THERE was a recent generational squabble about punctuation in text messages.

Apparently putting a full stop at the end of a text message is rudeness akin to violence for younger generations.

I ask a 13-year-old about this and he says, "It's like you spat in my face."

Another young person says that punctuation is a signifier of a fight.

A neutral message contains no capital letters and no full stops.

If an argument breaks out you might use a capital letter to indicate annoyance and if you're raging and really want to put your foot down, end the sentence with a full stop.

No matter how deeply I think about this, I end up nowhere.

How on earth is a full stop rude?

Punctuation is, surely, the very essence of good manners and the least you might show in respect to your conversational companion.

This, you see, is a real generational divide.

The author Erica Dhawan recently wrote an essay based on her new book, Digital Body Language, describing just this - the markedly different ways we use technology depending on age.

Using the term "geriatric millennial" to describe those born between 1980 and 1985, she described how this cohort make for the ideal employee as they have experience of both analogue and digital worlds.

These folk remember a time of fax machines and know the world of 3D printers.

They are as comfortable picking up the phone as they are on a Google hangout.

This resonated so strongly.

When I started as a trainee reporter the mantra was to be on the phone all the time - hit the phones, hit the phones, hit the... you get the picture.

In recent years I notice that younger folk - still, like me, millennials, but not of the 80s - will not pick up the telephone.

I'm forever urging students and trainees to make phone calls, rather than endless emails and DMs.

What if I'm wrong?

What if no one likes to answer the phone anymore.

If I was Ms Dhawan's classic geriatric millennial I would have a better grip on this.

While the micro-generation resonated with me, for many it was a division too far.

Understandably, people aren't keen on labels, stereotypes and generalisations.

Millennial is a particularly loose term.

I'm a millennial, but so is my cousin's 21-year-old son.

As far as generational life experiences go, we have pretty much nothing in common.

People are particularly affronted about being pigeon-holed by age when it comes to birth year labels.

Again, quite right - the 70-somethings of my acquaintance are still working, still adventuring, still as engaged as they were 20 years ago and not a shampoo and set in sight.

A pensioner now is not the same as a pensioner of my gran's generation.

But that somewhat misses the point.

It's not about age, it's about experiences.

While some baby boomers are happily embracing being elderly, others are carrying on regardless of age.

Yet they all have shared experiences.younger people will never really understand.

My fellow 1980s babies know what it's like to grow up without a mobile phone, say.

The relief of not having your teenage years documented in a million selfies but in just enough photos to fill a MySpace page.

The major affront at "geriatric millennial" seemed to be towards that first word - geriatric.

How dare anyone make the suggestion that we're old.

What's so bad about being old?

This seems rank ageism, this outrage merely at tying people of the early 80s to a word meaning old.

I had my second coronavirus vaccine on Sunday morning and the vaccinator asked me if my year of birth was 1962, which would, and apologies if you've already done the maths, make me about to turn 60.

When she looked up and spotted my relatively smooth brow and only mildly lined eyes she could not have been more apologetic.

There's a separate piece to be written about ageing and the different expectations placed on age groups now.

But putting an end to the taking of offence at the mere idea of being associated with advanced years is a stance multi-generations should unite behind.