Teenagers Talking

This is a fictional blog entry I wrote for part of my English Language coursework.
Feel free to add your own blog entry through the voice of a fictional character and topic of your choosing.
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25/03/13

This blog entry is directed at my young followers.

My friends, the ones that haven’t already fallen off this mortal coil, are always telling me to move with the times, ‘go with the flow,’ it’s the 21st Century. Stopping short of dying my hair pink and wearing, what my granddaughter informs me are called onesies (which are utterly ridiculous by the way, you look like overgrown babies), I like to think that I am fairly lenient, even actively interested, when it comes to the youth of today. To some extent my views changed when I went online and saw how you are all shamelessly abusing the English Language; if this makes me an “old fart” then so be it!

I became a silver surfer several months ago; my family bought me a computer for my 75th birthday and since then I’ve joined various social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter) and contributed to several forums. It was hard work adjusting to this new piece of technology, coming from a time the younger generations refer to as B.C. (before computers). Yet retired life has given me free time to master its complexities, challenges that I know my young readers may take for granted.

Before I incite a riot of outraged teenagers I would first like to point out that I do not see anything seriously wrong with the occasional use of acronyms – such as BLT, BBQ or BBC – in informal everyday conversations. In fact, I quite enjoy working out the ones in the paper each Sunday morning. Neither are they a new invention. They existed in written language a long time before technology had a chance to interfere with our lives. It was not long ago that LOL stood for lots of love. I myself used to sign off letters to my late husband with SWAK (sealed with a kiss). So what’s my problem?

Nowadays acronyms are cropping up left, right and centre on the internet. It is impossible to track their meaning. What irritates me the most is that the majority of them are spawned from laziness. How hard is it to type “be right back” instead of “brb,” or “see you later” instead of “cya l8r”?

There’s also this whacky teenage craze of putting numbers into words. Leetspeak, I think it’s called. My grandson uses it all the time when he’s on his X-box. But it doesn’t end there. These “words” also include a bunch of random characters found on the keyboard and deliberate misspellings. It’s as if Standard English never existed and the world had been taken over by mindless, foul-mouthed aliens.

Back in my day, if we were caught saying such vulgar atrocities we would have had soap forced down our throats and would be left choking up bubbles for weeks afterwards – I didn’t do it again, well at least not where any adult could hear me. In school, spelling and grammatical errors were corrected by a sharp slap of a ruler.

I understand that you young folk feel the need to distinguish yourselves from the rest of us alter cockers. Moreover, I realise that one of the ways you do this is by creating new slang words, forgetting old “uncool” ones and trying to avoid any use of the Queen’s English. But, really, is that an excuse to use such foul language over the internet?

Teenagers today can act however they please, whether online or in real life, and show little regard to the consequences. Just the other day I had a run-in with a bunch of hooligans at my local grocery shop. They were crowding round the exit, in their hoodies and low-slung jeans, refusing to let anyone pass. When I confronted them, politely asking them if I could past, my response was a mumble from inside the dark abyss of a hood. Only the swear words were perfectly articulated. It was not until the owner threatened to call the police that they finally decided to leave.

On the internet there is no authority to put the yobs in their place. There are virtually no restrictions and you can post whatever you like. I personally find it disgusting that most sites do not censor out bad language and others sites don’t even give users the option of reporting abusive comments.

So I urge you, young followers, if you love the English language as much as I do: protect it. Don’t soil its value. As the younger generation its future lies in your hands.

~Dottie

The End

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