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Definition

Many references to Generation Y sweep in people born from 1978 to 1994, but not everyone agrees on this definition.

Writer and historian William Strauss, co-author of the books "Millennials Rising" and "Millennials and the Pop Culture," prefers the term "Millennial Generation" in reference to those born in 1982 or later. He argues that people in this age group object to being called Generation Y because it puts them in the shadow of Generation X -- a group they are most unlike.

Generation X, often defined as those born from 1965 to 1977, sometimes takes on a derogatory tone as a description of disenchanted, bored young people. Many believe the very concept of a Generation X culture has become outdated.

Some people refer to Generation Y as the Baby Boom Echo because most are children of baby boomers. The boomers were born during the post World War II period running from 1946 to 1964 -- though some experts take issue with using those years to define this generation.

What do you think

How is Generation Y different from other generations? If you're in Gen Y, how do you view yourself? Write to Final Word, The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh NC 27602; e-mail finalword@newsobserver.com or fax 836-4967. Letters must be signed and no more than 250 words. Or phone your comments to 836-5900; be sure to leave your name, town and a phone number where you can be reached for verification. Go to newsobserver.com/news/q to discuss online. Click Q forum in the "Speak Out" area.

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