Talking the talk
Try translating this. “OMG Glamma, LOL. Story was TOTES AMAZEBALLS. Hit me with the deets and I’ll tweet it to my peeps #funny story. Gr8. I’ll check-in with you later.” ** Welcome to a language that is second nature to the Millenial generation (anyone born from early 1980s to early 2000s). While you may not want to start ‘talking Millenial’ it helps to be able to interpret conversations around you.
What drives language change?
Language evolves due to many influences - corporate ‘speak’, media, politics, film, music, and technology, are just a few.
Our communications technology, such as mobile phones along with social media channels we use to chat to each other has sped up the rate of language change. An example is the term “Google it”, a standard response to questions where the answer isn’t immediately known. Yet Google has only been around since 1997.
Non-verbal communication changes too. Use upper case font in an email or text message and the recipient will think you’re yelling at them. While # is a musical symbol, it is also a ‘hash tag’ to confirm you’ve finished entering details on a key pad entry when doing your telephone banking; or a used to help others find a topic they’re interested in when they use social media.
Are you talking the talk?
Here is a taste of some words to help get you up to speed. Many of these have been directly influenced by technology that demands use of a limited number of characters, such as mobile phone text messages or social media platform Twitter:
BK: before kids
FIL: father in law
Glamma: a stylish grandparent
Google it: find the answer online via Search Engine, Google
ken: an airhead
LOL: laugh out loud
MIL: mother in law
Peeps: people, usually in reference to friends
Post: publish a comment online
Selfie: taking a photo of yourself from a smart phone, tablet or web camera
Tweet: sending a message via social media platform, Twitter
Dictionaries have had to keep up too. For example Oxford Dictionaries Online (or ODO) is constantly adding words creeping into general use. Send some of your friends (or ‘peeps’) a text message using some of your newly acquired language skills and see what their response is. LOL!
...and to help, here is a translation of the first paragraph!
** “Oh my goodness my stylish grandmother. Your story made me laugh out loud. It was totally amazing and caught my attention. Please email me the details of the story? I’ll share a link to it via a social media platform called Twitter. I’ll add a label to the story so that if anyone wants to find a ‘funny story’ they might find yours. Great. I’ll contact you next week!”
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South East Melbourne
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