JUICE, JJ and COIN. A handsome yet motely crew of eighteen year old boys that try to drive me batty on an ongoing basis.
I’d like to talk about words of an entirely different kind.
You see, having teenagers in the house almost every day I hear a lot of “teen-speak”: that language that evolves generation after generation; generally leaving us older folk gobsmacked and completely out of the loop.
Really, it’s like every generation develops their own code words as part of the secret language they speak. What once was “cool” became “groovy” then “rad” to “boss” to “da bomb.” It’s hard to keep track of these transitions as you meander down the road to over-the-hill irrelevance, otherwise known as your Golden years.
Here’s a typical conversation in our house between the Three Stooges –Coin, Juice and JJ. These three eighteen year olds have been buddies for many years. Coin and Juice are twin brothers and JJ is my youngest son. They are conjoined at the hip 24/7/365.
Accordingly, as a public service to you, I’ll give you the bafflegab first and then the translation later, using the Queen’s English, of course.
Coin: Anyone know where the dinger is tonight?
Juice: Ya, I think that sketchy biddy, Sarah, on the way to the B-dot might have one!
JJ: Maybe we’re sewered. We’ll need someone to rip us.
Juice: Why you sketchin’ balls?
JJ: I’m not sketchin’ balls. I’m just sayin’ we won’t be wheelin’ biddies if no one rips us.
Coin: Prove it? (See Hellfire Helen for this one.)
Juice: Easy boys, you don’t need to start a Tilly over this.
JJ: Bet-ya there will be plenty of Tillys at the dinger.
Coin: Ya, especially if everyone gets dickered.
Juice: If that happens Sarah’s mom is gonna stir out, for sure. But I hear she’s planning to have good muck.
JJ: Boy’s I think were dummied!
Alright, I’ll give you a few minutes to figure out what Curly, Larry and Moe are talking about. Grab a pen and some paper and write down your thoughts. Fear not, no one is going to pull your hair, slap your face or poke you in the eyes in a Moe Howard kind of retribution if you don’t.
(Insert Wheel of Fortune countdown music here.)
Now are you ready for this?
You should be, because now I’m going to give you the Queen’s English translation of the bafflegab above. Keep what you’ve written down on that paper close at hand.
Coin: Anyone know where the party (dinger) is tonight?
Juice: Ya, I think that weird (sketchy) girl (biddy) over on the way to the Brantford (B-dot) might have one!
JJ: Maybe, we’re out of luck (sewered). We’ll need someone to drive (rip) us.
Juice: Why you so upset (sketchin’ balls)?
JJ: I’m not upset (sketchin’ balls). I’m just sayin’ we won’t be talking up the ladies (wheelin’ biddies) if no one drives (rips) us.
Coin: Prove it? (See Hellfire Helen for that explanation.)
Juice: Hey boys, we don’t need to fight (Tilly) over this.
JJ: Bet-ya there will be plenty of fights (Tillys) at the party (dinger).
Coin: Ya, especially if everyone gets drunk (dickered).
Juice: If that happens Sarah’s mom is gonna get angry/upset (stir out), for sure. But I hear she’s planning to have good food (muck).
JJ: Boys I think were screwed/out of luck (dummied)!
John Humphreys from The Mail Online had this to say when actress Emma Thompson complained about this kind of teen-speak.
“Of course it drives her insane. It drives me insane, too. That’s the whole point. It’s meant to because we are adults. That’s why they do it. Teenagers want their own language and they want to exclude us from it.”
He went on to tell us something more worrisome, though. Jean Gross an expert in teen language and advisor to the British Government told him, “that teenagers develop a broad vocabulary of 40,000 words by the time they reach 16, but linguists have found that many choose to limit themselves to a much smaller range in regular conversation, and on a daily basis could use as few as 800. “
Ladies and gentleman, these 800 words are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to teen-speak.
Because more than 400 of them are words like “sewered, dummied, Tilly, and dickered”. We adults haven’t got a clue.
More than half of what they say goes over my head and right out the window.
“Pardon me,” I’ll say. “What did you just say?”
It’s a lot like listening to a politician who speaks publicly. You hear what they say but the real meaning escapes you completely.
POLITICIAN: It is our policy to set policy that the policy makers will accept as policy within the realm of good policy.
REPORTER: So, what is your policy?
POLITICIAN: Essentially, it is our party’s policy to not discuss policy until that policy is approved by our policy makers. We think that is a good policy.
REPORTER: What the %4&#@%? (Then he regresses to gobsmacked silence of the Third Kind)
And, don’t even get me going about young people and cell phone texting. When I receive texts from teenagers I often have to refer to an online dictionary to figure them out, especially those damn acronyms.
LOL (Oooooopsy, sorry about that!)
Like for instance, what the Sam Hill does this mean?
TEXT: .ey bb got no $ on my ph jst thort Id giv yr SxC self a txt. LY
I’ll give you a minute.
(Pick up that pen and paper.)
(Insert Wheel of Fortune countdown music here.)
Well, here we go. That mishmash of letters translates to: “Hey baby got no bucks on my phone just thought I would give your sexy self a text. Love Ya!”
So, I get this text message from my daughter and all it really does is raise my blood pressure. I can’t make “head nor tail” of it, can you?
DAUGHTER’S TEXT: ey dad I jst wtd 2 sA hi n C wotU wr doIN. LY
So, I answer it this way.
GRUMPY: What the hell are you talking about?
DAUGHTER’S TEXT: ur so old dad. 2 fune. LMFAO.
GRUMPY TXT: Well, I don’t know what you are SAYING to me! Give me a break! I don’t get this!
DAUGHTER’S TEXT: ez 2 figa ot. U r makin me LOL.
Well in my mind the only way to deal with this nonsense is to fight fire with fire. So, I’ll return the favour by adding my own “Grumpy-Speak” to the conversation. You can make an acronym out of anything, right.
GRUMPY TXT: IDKWTF UR TA (Translation: I don’t know what the “F” you are talking about.)
DAUGHTER’S TEXT: What, Dad??? Ha Ha Ha ur so fune!
GRUMPY TXT: Never mind . . . we’ll talk when you get home. I’ve got to run. I think I need to take one of my pills. (My head is pounding as if it is about to explode.)
Here’s one to be on the lookout for though. I thought I’d provide a little help from the Grumpy Google File.
Vanessa Van Petten in her Blog: Teen Slang: Decoding What Your Kids Are Saying reveals this little acronym.
NSFP Not Safe For Parents
She explains, “When you have an email with a naughty picture, some foul language, incriminating plans etc., you can put this in the subject line and the receiver knows to only open it when parents are not around. This can also be sent in a text message, see the following example:”
Friend: Nah its fine they are not around
Teen: Awesome, so who is getting the beer this weekend?”
I think you get my drift.
The older you get and the further removed you become from the younger generation, the further out of touch you become. Sometimes it’s pretty hard on the old ticker. And, that’s why you don’t see a lot of seniors having positive interaction with teenagers
“Get that skateboard thing-a-ma-jig off my GD driveway, sonny!”
“Park there again and I’ll call the cops!”
“Hey, don’t walk across my lawn, you moron!”
“Spit that gum out. I don’t know what the hell you’re saying!”
“Turn that damned radio down!”
“Marge, grab by nitro pills will you!”
It’s also why using seniors and cell phones in the same sentence is an obvious oxymoron.
I guess the best thing to do is to leave you with a little challenge. Here are a couple of messages that I found in text acro-lingo that I think you can figure out with just a little perseverance.
Like, I think it would be really cool, man if you can solve these groovy puzzles. Hey, solve these and you’re the bee’s knees. And, that would be totally rad!
- whr DY fnd a k9 W no lgz? ryt whr U left him
2. baby monkey asks her mum “y r we so ugly?” mum replies ” thank God we l%k lk dis, u shud av seen D 1 readin dis mssg
And, here is my personal favorite. If you figure it out you’ll see why!
3. I h8 txt spk. itz a PITA 2 read