For us, it`s just plain old English …
I`m certain, that at one time or another, each of us has had that “what language am I speaking” kind of feeling. We`re not talking about when you call an 800 number for tech support or try to get information on how to do something. I do however, remember calling for take-out recently, and after spending a great deal of time writing down each family members request, I called the restaurant. When I hung up the phone, my kids just looked at me when I shook my head and said “this should be interesting, the person taking the order barely spoke a word of English.” But we`re not talking about that today either. Right now I`m more concerned with speaking to (and understanding) my teen and pre-teen kids.
The other day my son walked in to the kitchen – neon accents in his sneakers, shorts, shirt and hat – and asked “how do I look?” I glanced up and marveled for a moment, how tall and handsome he had grown this Summer. My wife looked him over and said, “you look bad…” His eyes bugged. “You don`t like it?” he asked. “I love it, you look cool” she replied. “But you said I looked bad.” Confused, my wife told him that she thought “bad” meant “good.” Not any more – bad means bad, nasty means good! It was at that point that I realized, parents just shouldn`t try to sound “hip.”
Now I`m fully aware that every generation has it`s own slang, and their own sayings. I remember talking to my grandmother and never quite understanding what she meant when something was “the bee`s knees.” Thinking back to my own parents, where did they ever come up with “sitting on the hot seat” or “out in the cold?” I remember shaking my head when my mom told me that I looked “hot” as I headed out one night – “hot?”
Now, thanks in part to everyone trying to abbreviate while text messaging, a new generation of words, meanings and symbols has been born. I can just see my daughter with a big grin on her face, when my wife put “LOL” at the end of a sentence. Nobody uses “that” or “OMG” anymore she told her.
I do agree, “HMU” (hit me up) is a lot easier to write than “I`ll talk to you later or call me.” And “yo” may be the same as “hi, how are you” – especially if you`re Rocky. But to me, is it really necessary to ask someone if they are “cray-cray” (crazy) or “jelly” (jealous)? I barely understood when my son was “boss” (good) playing basketball and my daughter got her new “kicks” (sneakers). I was in the cold however, when they needed “digits” (phone numbers) from their friends … I thought digits were fingers and toes.
So, when my son left the room, comfortable with his outfit, my wife and I agreed – from now on “we” were just going to speak good old-fashioned English!
My advice to all of you with young teens, don`t try to sound like one of their “peeps” (friends), because all they will do is shake their head and “bounce” (leave the room). LOL
Story and Photo by Joe Kilroy