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Hartselle Enquirer

Teenage language is off the hook

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Editor
I am blessed with a 17-year old sister who is getting ready to head off to college. She's been visiting several area universities and has kept me informed of her search.
"RU going with to UNA?" she asked in a recent email. (Interpretation: Are you going with us to the University of North Alabama? We are planning on visiting there this weekend and would be delighted if you would accompany us.)
"Can you speak using whole words?" I asked her. "You know the rules."
The rules to which I refer to are this: if you send me an email, use entire words, not teenage email slang. I added this rule about a year ago when her missives became too abbreviated to understand. There are other rules, too, such as her and her friends are not allowed to spray perfume or giggle excessively while in my car and the limiting of the word "like," such as "like, I went to school today and it was just, like, boring."
Apparently, this unique command of the English language isn't limited to my sister. Not only have teenagers developed an email language, they have changed some of the words we've all said for years. In other words, cool isn't cool any more.
Take "hello" for example. According to a recent poll of teenagers, "hello" is an outdated way to greet someone. The preferred way to say "hello" is either "yo" or "holla."
On the other end of the spectrum, "I'm out," has replaced "goodbye."
And, at least according to this survey, it's is no longer acceptable to ask someone "what's up?" Instead, today's teenagers are more likely to inquire about "what's good," "what's poppin'" or what's crackin."
I don't know about you, but if someone asked me what's crackin' I would probably apologize and say my knees have started making that sound each morning. I doubt I would reply that "it was all good," another teenage slang saying.
"Awesome" and "cool" have been replaced by "bangin," "phat," and "off the hook," which I thought referred to the telephone and not the status of life.
A friend is now called "a dawg" or a "peep" and "mad" has replaced "very," such as "that was a mad bad day when I wrecked my mom's car by running into the concrete post at the gas station." (Sorry for that reference, Anna, but it worked there.)
I know every generation has developed its own language, its own sort of secret code to keep the grownups out. There's nothing to make you feel older, though, than realizing you have become one of those grown-ups they are seeking to exclude.
It's mad depressing.

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