Wednesday, August 12, 2009

U betta ax somebody....

Since starting my work with youth all those many years ago, I have been on a crusade to save the integrity of the English language from being massacred by ebonics, spanglish and now, text lingo. It is literally like fingernails on a blackboard to me…. As someone who was born in a different country, and who grew up with English as a second language, I understand how easy it is to get lazy, and “mix it up” at times. But when I started hearing words like “troca” – spanglish for truck, and “raite” (pronounced rah ee teh) a painful derivation of ride, as in “can you give me a raite to my house” I wanted to scream! As a matter of fact I think I did!
“Chilaxate huey!” is something I have been told on a few occasions, which loosely translated means “relax you donkey” I try, I really do, not to be too uptight. And actually I admire and even enjoy the evolution of our language through the creation of new slang. As a matter of fact one of our most popular sessions is “Slang Pictionary”, where mentees get to learn old school slang, and more importantly, mentors get to be educated on the latest and greatest meanings of today’s slang. I am all about staying current, otherwise how do you think I would be able to understand everything our kids are talking about? I love the creativity it takes to create new language, it’s only when words like “brung” and “aks” are confused for correct English that I get irate.
My greatest pet peeve nowadays, is text lingo. It is one thing to abbreviate words, so that it all fits in a text, another is changing the spelling of a word, just because it’s ….? I don’t get it! So instead of “I” you’re going to spell out “eye”, or “iz” instead of “is”, or “yuh” instead of “you”…. For real????? Or should I say “Four reeeel?”
What worries me most, is that our young people are beginning to accept this as proper English, and using some of this language on their school papers, and resumes! So please join me in the good fight, and when a young person asks you “Where you at?” you answer them, “Right behind that preposition”.


1 comment:

Rissa said...

Ahh...the English language! From 'your' to 'you're'...'ax' to 'ask'...and now we have to worry about text lingo. Great post, my friend.

I mean: Gr8 mi frend :)