Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Loony Linguistics of Teenspeak

Out of the five people in our household, I am the lone male. We once had a guinea pig that was a male and that helped, but he no longer lives with us. Honestly, he no longer lives at all. That leaves me as the only male in my house.

This has some decided benefits. Firstly, I am spoiled, by my wife and each of my daughters. They can cook and I can eat. This makes for a wonderful dynamic at home. Secondly, although I have taught my daughters how to use tools, and they are not afraid to use them, they don’t normally use them. This is a mixed blessing. That six-sided 1/2 inch socket that I need is right where I left it. Unfortunately, it is right where I left it, which is not where it should be. I have no idea where it is, and I have no one to blame, but myself.

My three daughters are on the cusp of adulthood, which means they range from mid to late teens. Next month, eldest will turn 20, and that is an encouragement to me, since it is common knowledge that once a person turns 20, they immediately become a mature adult.

One of the interesting things I have noticed about teenagers is their desire to invent new things. This is nowhere more evident than in their language. My daughters have mastered the art of taking texting short hand and speaking it out loud, at break neck speed, so that the end result is incomprehensible and goes something like this when I try to figure out what my daughter said. “Did you say ‘Hottentots are falling from the sky?” “No Dad, I asked if you wanted me to blot that dry.”

Teenagers also redefine words. My daughters love using the word ‘feel’ to describe an actual fact. For instance, they might say, “I feel like the sum of the squares of each leg of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse.” I reply, “That is not a matter of emotion, it is a statement of fact, you just defined the Pythagorean Theorem.” The response from them would be, “Dad, I feel like you are mocking me.”

I feel an eye roll coming on.

Teens have also redefined the word ‘literally’. To them it now means figuratively, which is just the opposite of literally. Middlest recently announced, “I literally just died!”

I raised my hands in the air and imitated a television preacher, “Hallelujah, we have witnessed a miracle. This girl was dead...but now she is ALIVE!”

I feel like she literally rolled her eyes at me.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I have two teenage daughters as well and this is 'totes' my experience ;)