The other day my husband was texting with my daughter when he asked me a question.
"What does i-g-h-t stand for?"
I couldn't picture the letters in my head so I walked over to him to see them in black and white. He was busy trying to figure it out on his own.
"I got her...something, I grabbed hot...tea, I'm going here tonight..."
He couldn't crack the code.
But I could. I had never seen the word in text before, but the kids said it all the time.
"It's not an acronym. It's just ight. It's short for alright. Did you you ask her a question?"
"Yes. I asked her how her day was going."
"Yup, that's it then. She answered. Ight. Alright."
He just looked at me with a perplexed kind of smile and shook his head.
Clearly, he did not speak the language.
I can't blame the guy. It all moves so fast. The days of lol and omg are long gone. Even as a mom, the one who is privy to all the conversations with friends, during carpools and homework sessions, I'm still lost most of the time.
The acronyms are longer and more detailed, some applied to very specific situations. Entirely new words are created that seemingly have no apparent connection to what they mean. Terms are coined and then gone within a month and the phrase that kid in math class made up today, is now a global phenomenon thanks to YouTubers and Viners ~ and if they can't come up with anything original, they recycle something old.
Lately, I'll be correcting my kids for using a word improperly, only to be told that the dictionary meaning of that word no longer applies.
"That's not what it means."
"Yes it is. Look it up."
"Well, that's not how it's used now. And you should stop saying it."
"What does it mean now?"
Sometimes they come right out and tell me.
Sometimes they just give me a look.
On those occasions, I know that it's probably best for everyone involved if I Google it on my own.
I shudder at some of what I have found. Urban Dictionary is a scary place.
Of course, there are times when I try to use the lingo. This rarely goes over well.
"Don't say that."
"Why not? Isn't that what it means? Didn't I use it correctly?"
"Yes. But it doesn't sound right when you say it. It's weird. Stop it."
That's the point where I usually tell them that it's weird to text without proper punctuation. That sentences begin with capitals and end with periods. If you pause, you should use a comma and if you're excited you can add an exclamation point without being told that you're screaming at someone.
Then they inform me that employing traditional grammar rules is rude.
"Mom, don't write that! Periods mean you're mad. It sounds angry."
"Ma, you can't use a capital, you're yelling."
"I'm not yelling. It denotes the beginning of a sentence."
"No mom, it's rude."
You know what's rude? Run on sentences and lower case letters. As a former Kindergarten teacher, the first lesson we taught our emerging writers was that all sentences start with capital and end with a period. Um...it's the standard and is based on rules that were established centuries ago, regardless of what this iPhone obsessed generation believes.
Growing up my mother was the queen of the English language. She constantly corrected my essays and my speech. She used to quote her high school English teacher, Miss Shaunessy. My friends used to laugh at me because I said aunt (or worse auntie) instead of ant, but that's what my mother was taught. It was, in fact, the proper pronunciation and that was how we were conditioned to say it.
If we didn't, the reprimand was swift.
"Miss Shaunessy would not like that word. An ant is a bug on the ground! Is my sister a bug? No, she is not. She is your aunt."
By the way, when my mom said that, she was often yelling. It was clear to us because she raised her voice, not because she was capitalizing.
I know it's confusing.
There are the rare occasions when I actually do know what's going on. I am not that old and I am on social media all day for work, but even then I can't always catch a break.
"What are those pictures for?" I ask this as my daughter is taking selfies in the front seat. Apparently, lighting in the car is optimal. Everyone looks better in the car.
Well, everyone except me. In my late forties, even in the car I look ridiculous in selfies.
"I'm sending them to Laura."
"Snapchat! Mom, it's Snapchat or it's a screenshot. You can't combine them. They are totally different things!! You take a screenshot and you send a Snapchat. I can't talk to you, if you can't remember."
I know this. I do, but I am at an age where words escape me on a daily basis and I call the kids by the goldfish's name. Snapchat, screenshot, texting, DMing, Vsco, Instagram, Periscope, Tumblr. Tweeting, posting, liking, blocking, hashtags, unfollowing, Finstas and two words that make me cringe every time I hear them, sexting and nudes.
It's enough to send me over the edge.
It makes me nostalgic for my own teenage years when we spoke in (relatively) plain English, the only social media platform was the local newspaper and unless you were going to take out an ad in the classifieds to buy or sell your car, there was no need for abbreviations!
When I explain this to my kids they roll their eyes and laugh. I know they think I'm ancient and out of touch.
And maybe I am.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the language I speak.
I respect the dictionary. I like punctuation.
I'm kind of a grammar nerd and I don't mind spelling out an entire word.
Even if it takes me a little bit longer to send my text.
Oh gosh, I'm sorry, was I yelling?
Sign up for email and follow the fun ~
Tips, tricks, crafts and giggles delivered straight to you!
Interested in more posts like this one?
|Please Just Take My Phone Away...An Embarrassing Texting Story|
|How I Lost My Underwear At Kmart...Really.|