Are you an adult?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines adult as –
A person who is fully grown or developed.
Now I have issues with this. I can concede that I’m fully grown. I.e. I’m not likely to grow any more, in fact I think I’m shrinking (except for my ears). But fully developed?
I don’t think so.
If I were then surely I wouldn’t need to spell-check everything? How come I still play stupid, possibly harmful pranks? Why don’t I have all the answers?
I think we need a new word.
How about smexper?
Sufficiently More EXperienced PERson.
It could work –
A child must be accompanied by an smexper.
I like it. It fulfills the requirements of the meaning of adult yet is not definitive. There is room for adjusting the terms of ‘sufficiently more experienced’ without the catch-all broadness of ‘adult’ which is defined purely by age.
Take for example a ‘child’ who is 6′ 5″ but fourteen years old. You wouldn’t want them surfing for porn at that age or buying a round down the pub yet by the definition of adult they would fulfill the ‘fully grown’ requirement.
How about a thirteen year old girl who gets pregnant? Obviously sexually ‘mature’ therefore ‘adult’ but experienced enough to cope with motherhood? Probably not.
Smexper is not without it’s drawbacks though.
I’ve been watching the TV series ‘Child Genius’ recently which really intrigued me. It showed the children in a MENSA sponsored competition to find the most intelligent/learned. It fulfills the requirement of smexper (they were definitely brighter than me anyway) but not the one of age.
So the TV producers (and MENSA) would have a huge problem. The show would have to be titled – ‘Smexper’s between the ages of 7 and 12 Genius’ – not exactly catchy?
Dammit. I’m obviously not smexper enough to even suggest that smexper would be a cool new word.
Sounds wicked though…