Are you a Yindie?

They're young, they're affluent and they're absolutely everywhere. But no one belonging to this newly identified socio-economic group would ever admit to it. Would you? By Ed Caesar
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Not since the 1980s, when the Yuppie was king, have we encountered such a powerful social group. They've been around for a few years, but only now have they been comprehensively nailed. Meet the Yindie: half-yuppie, half-indie, moneyed urban hipsters aged 20-35 who listen to wry northern indie music on their iPod nanos, and who think Zadie Smith is the pinnacle of alternative fiction.

More stylish than your average man in the street (you would be if you read GQ), Yindies see themselves as off-centre, a bit too cool for school. They achieve all this while holding down a junior job in the City or studying for their accountancy exams.

Like any well-honed social group, they are defined as much by what they are not as by what they are. They don't like James Blunt (fair enough). They wouldn't be seen dead watching a Lindsay Lohan movie (again, fair enough). But as they reject the mainstream in their droves, they become, in their own way, even more mainstream - bland, monochrome... Yindie.

No one wants to be a Yindie (also known as a Yupster) - to admit you are is to relinquish your off-kilter edginess - but they are out there, all right. So, as the Yindie revolution of 2006 starts, it's time to ask: could I be a Yindie, too?

Take the Yindie test

1. You and a non-Yindie colleague are discussing Coldplay's latest, X&Y, over a green tea. He doesn't like it, saying it panders too much to white male middle-class sensibilities. What do you say?

a) You prefer classical.

b) Coldplay's earlier work is better.

c) It's the best thing you've ever heard.

2. You are on your lunch break. Which of these gastronomic options do you choose?

a) The ham and cheese sandwiches you made at home and brought to work in a Tupperware box.

b) A Pret a Manger "no bread sandwich" (ie a salad).

c) Fish 'n' chips in the canteen.

3. It is Thursday night. You and your partner are deciding what to see at the cinema. Do you persuade them that:

a) You should see King Kong because Brokeback Mountain looks really boring.

b) The only film you are interested in seeing is Brokeback Mountain, but that you should go home and wait until tomorrow's Newsnight review before making a firm decision?

c) You should see Just Friends. It may be a brainless romantic comedy but you've both had a busy day.

4. You and five friends are doing a "secret Santa" where the price limit is £10. You need to buy a present that will mark you out as a Santa of distinction and wit. What do you buy?

a) A comedy chef's apron with a naked woman on the front.

b) Dave Eggers' recent collection of short stories, How We Are Hungry.

c) A cheese-knife.

5. You have decided to get fit. You review multiple options for achieving this goal, but eventually plump for:

a) A personal trainer.

b) White-collar boxing.

c) Step aerobics.

6. You are shopping for a new pair of jeans on the high street. You see a Gap. Do you:

a) Step in. Their stuff is cool, but reasonably priced, and what's more, it lasts.

b) Look in the window and admit to yourself that, although you like their stuff, you wouldn't be seen dead in Gap because everyone else wears it. Head to Urban Outfitters instead.

c) Scoff at the ubiquitous economic imperialism of multi-national outlets such as Gap, and head for your nearest charity shop.

7. If you could only read one thing, it would be:

a) Heat.

b) A scurrilous blog by an anonymous cross-dressing lifestyle columnist.

c) Horse and Hound.

8. You are having some friends over for dinner. The discussion turns to politics. What do you all agree on?

a) That the NHS needs dramatic restructuring to comply with new European working hours legislation.

b) That Tony Blair was so wrong to lead us into war with Iraq, and you would have marched on Parliament if there hadn't been a Diesel sale that day.

c) George Galloway's moustache is creepy.

9. How many times do you Google your own name a day?

a) Almost never.

b) Five times. Once in the morning with your full name, once with your full name in inverted commas, once with only your surname, once with only your first name, and once with your full name at the end of the day to see if there have been any developments, and to check if your name is still unique.

c) What's Google?

10. Your psychiatrist has been helping you deal with some troubling issues from your childhood. She decides that you need to find some method of public expression. What do you choose?

a) To join an amateur operatic society.

b) To describe how you are dealing with your issues by writing a blog. You choose a catchy pseudonym such as @ishoo or Beetup.

c) To take up oregami.

11. Surrounded by your friends in a bar, you decide to tell your favourite anecdote. Which is it?

a) A story about how, when you were children, your brother used to try on your mother's shoes. He once tried on some high heels and sprained his ankle, in an incident he later said was a "football injury".

b) A story about the size of Tom Cruise's tackle, which you read on the Holy Moly gossip mailout, and have since passed off as your own.

c) A story about how, when you were moving house, you found an old sausage in your toolbox.

12. You are offered you a company car. What do you choose?

a) A Ford Ka, in lime green.

b) A Prius dual-fuel car, in whatever colour, because the planet comes first. And it's a good conversation point. And no one else has one.

c) A BMW Seven Series, in metallic blue.

The Moment of Truth

If you answered "b" to most of the questions, then you are, unfortunately, a Yindie. Stop trying so hard immediately, and find out what you actually like.

If you answered "a" to most, then you're probably OK, but you do own an unamusing apron and a dodgy-coloured car. If you answered "c" most frequently you don't fit into any category, which is a good thing. We could use more origami-practising step-aerobics enthusiasts who find old sausages in their toolboxes.

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