I was at dinner with a history professor and his wife last night and a discussion we were having on student papers confirmed my theory that students have no comprehention of the importance of historical specificity in their writing.
Specifically, we laughed at the ubiquitous use of the term "nowadays". Usually, it is used as a climactic point in the paper emphasizing (usually) the negative associated with all time prior to the unspecified "nowadays" and the optimistic future associated with all time post "nowadays".
Even more disturbing is that it seems like the relevant time period for prior to "nowadays" extends [only!] "10-15 years" as in,
"Women used to stay at home with their kids and had little opportunity in the labor market. But nowadays, they have lots of opportunities and the wage gap is falling [its only $0.77!!!]."
"Women used to do the majority of the domestic labor but nowadays husbands are helping out [this is after reporting like a 1/2 hour increase among men over the last 30 years]."