Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Strange Habits of Teenagers

Odd title but one that was begging to be used, the phrases of my own youth are not just out of date but prehistoric now! woh rad man, yeah not so much these days :-) mind you I am so glad to no longer be greeted by 'Whatever!' or even 'speak to the hand!' and the horrid 'keep your hair on Mrs's' seem to be last year’s phrases, just shows if you wait long enough and patiently enough it all changes! I am not enamoured of the current phrase but as it could be so much worse, I shall live! I keep hearing it with differing accents to imply different answers, which is quite fun if all you do is hear them from afar.

'Oh My God!' drawn out with sarcastic over tones is the most common, sometimes it’s more of 'Oh my god' indrawn breath of shock. or occasionally 'Oh' 'My' 'God' with a breath between each word to emphasise the surprise! As a user of words and lover of alternatives and strange meanings I find this reduction to one phrase for all their reactions very funny.

I think that Text speak has to stand up here as a main influence, the OMG tag is easy to add and makes a quick phrase much more dramatic! The whole influence of social media on the teenagers both at work and at home is noticeable. The odd sound JK's is often tagged onto things that I would call them on, 'you’re so lazy, JK's' which seems to mean I am joking you shouldn't take offence at my offensive comment!

One of my pet hates is LOL which seems to be said as loll, as in lolling around, but means to them 'laugh out loud' often used in conversations like this, 'wow look at this cat picture, Lol' and they have even taken to 'rofl'ing things but not moving or laughing! It seems to be a short hand for even less mobile teens to imply they do move but to actually sit still for longer!

I know I am getting old, I asked my daughter when the song would start the other day and she said that was the song! I found myself saying things like, 'look at her clothes, how her mother ever let her out dressed like that!' to an over 18 TV presenter! And the classic 'can you turn it down' only matched by the worse one of 'can you turn it up I can't hear it!' I like going out but not every night, and an early night sounds awfully good!

I am finding the more I know the less I understand, and life is so much more interesting now than when I was a teenager. I have always believed that you had to keep adapting and changing because a static anything only looks good for a flash as you pass it by. Yes stop and enjoy the journey but don’t get stuck in the layby!

Last week I won some books for my library (yes it is possible) and I heard today I have won some tickets to a theatre show held locally (I shall do more about this after I have been) and was trying to think how to express my joy, when talking to some pupils I got 'Oh My God wow that’s great miss!', 'Oh my God, really' and a final 'Oh my god, wow!'.

I am thrilled, excited, can't wait, quivering in anticipation. I have asked a friend to go with me and she squealed and said 'yes yes' (very harry met sally stylie). But it made me think how we respond to things, and how teenagers have come down to less and less diversity. As with everything this will change with time and they will come up with new ideas, I hope one day to be baffled by words, challenged by teens as they stretch their reactions and language to out think me, until then I shall just ponder on the strange habits of teenagers.

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