Today’s teens have their own creative language that leaves most adults wondering what the heck they are talking about. If you heard a kid talking about an ‘errorist offering a nonppology for breaking their crayons,’ would you know what they were speaking of?
Teenage years are often about drawing lines to separate from parents and define social circles.
From Canada to Nyamirabo kids have been creating their own languages for years, and instant messaging is just the latest way to do it.
And anyone who’s familiar with IM and e-mail knows terms like omg! Lol and wtf.
Parents if your teen is suddenly speaking what seems like an entirely new language don’t worry. Slang is just a part of growing up.
“But what purpose does it serve to make up words when there are perfectly good ones already available to express what we want to say? a parent may ask, well, it showing creativity when we use slang.
It’s colourful, imaginative, and shocking. Plus, it is always fun to confuse the adults,” says 17-year-old Maggie Manzi.
Most teens are like a duck in water when it comes to instant messaging and mobile text messaging, where acronyms and slang is used to keep outsiders and parents guessing.
This era of IM (instant massage) makes parents so uncomfortable! But who would not be? When most of the slang and acronyms are about them?
PAW means “parents are watching”; MOS is “mom over shoulder”; and CD9 means “Code 9” for when parents are around.
Many kids use such lingo daily to warn their chat friends of prying eyes.
Young people develop their own language to differentiate themselves from mainstream culture.
Common acronyms like LOL, and TTYL (talk to you later) make teens feel nice about a world where adults cannot crawl in.
It’s wise for parents to be familiar with their lingo. Listen to their music. Many teens’ slang comes from song lyrics.
You should also watch out for short codes including MIRL, for “meet in real life” when they are planning to meet an online friend for the first time and NIFOC, for “naked in front of the computer”.
When your little girl signs in with Gf4L, don’t think it’s an answer to a cryptic puzzle, it simply means “girlfriend for life”.