Sunday, January 16, 2005

The youth of today...

...have got lots to say, as the 1980s one-hit wonder band, Musical Youth, sang. So there's me showing my age, but at least I'm doing it in an upfront unapologetic "yeah I'm old - and?!" kinda way, rather than dressing my linguistic mutton as lamb and attempting to talk in youth slang. Be grateful!

So, two things have been doing the rounds recently about written and spoken forms of language preferred by young people. The first link is to an article about a piece of research investigating whether the use of text messaging language forms affects a young person's developing ability to spell or punctuate. Before you read it, what do you think its findings will be? Surprised, or not?

The second link is to an article about slang. What makes it more interesting than the stuff often churned out by journalists on the topic, is that a much higher proportion of the word count than usual is actually given over to real live young people (er, some of whom may well be reading this, so a special hi to you guys!) talking about their language use. And they raise useful points about how journalists are constantly trying to 'jack' this language in order to sound cool, and how young people's slang constantly has to twist and turn to evade this. My question in reading this is to what extent the slang identified here is used by young people outside London, so any light you can shed on that would be good in the comments box... Or would telling me, a geriatric, mean the language was already doomed to obsolescence?....

Slangsta rap

Texting and literacy research


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