Holy Kamoly !!! Trust me when I say this is not, by any means (however farfetched that may be) a modern day version of the age old guacamole. It is one of the saner versions of TeenSpeak.
Ever listened to a pre-teen speak, these days ?? If your answer to that question is NO, then you should go plonk yourself in front of one and just listen to them speak. In about five minutes time (give or take about 3 minutes), that will leave you totally convinced that NASA has successfully managed to not just find life on Mars but that they’ve actually transported a few of those Martians onto this planet that we call Earth.
When you hear words like BF and GF in conversations, they stand for something very simple – Boyfriends and Girlfriends. I mean, that is absolutely basic stuff. A few months back, Macadamia had said to me “Oh ! They’re BIFFLS.” “Biffls ???!!!” “What in the name of the Good Lord are Biffls ?” was the first conscious thought that had crossed my rather debilitated mind. Debilitated because that’s more or less the effect a “normal” conversation with Macadamia had on me, of late. Since I’m using the Past Tense here, if you think life has gotten any easier on me in terms of understanding GYS (Gen Youngsters Speak – for lack of a cooler name, shall we say?), trust me, it has not. If anything, things are even more confusing now because Pecan has his own set of expressions and Macadamia is furiously adding to her rather lively repertoire of “Teen Speak”. I feel like a headless chicken, at best when talking to either one of them and it does make me rather acutely aware of my slowing synaptic responses. If both of them are talking to me (or better still, fighting over something) then I retreat to a safe corner and find myself singing “I’m a dreamer” !!!
The language kids speak nowadays, it kind of leaves me not just speechless but rather incapacitated, shall we say? Robs me of the ability to think straight or rather, if it is one of those long drawn conversations, it simply robs me of the ability to think altogether. I’m basically too busy trying to keep pace with the slangs that form such an integral part of her speech these days. Forget figuring them out! The slangs, I mean !! That’s like, way out of my reach. See the effect teen language is having on me – I actually used the word “like” even though like it was really like not needed in the sentence. Ah Ha !! Now you’re catching on !! Going back to Biffls – what are biffls ?? Let’s see how many of you, who are, in all probability laughing right now at the sorry figure I must have cut then. Go, figure that one out ??!!
A few months back, I was looking at my emails on the desktop computer in the bedroom and Macadamia was sitting in the living room with her nose stuck and eyes glued to her laptop. OK – nothing new as far as the second half of that sentence goes. Quite a normal scene, that ! Suddenly, a little box pops up seemingly out of nowhere on my gmail screen. Guess what ?? It’s Macadamia saying “ Heyloo – whatcha doin ?” Correct me if I’m wrong here – but were we not in the same house, under the same roof ?? Sitting in the same house, having a conversation on Google Chat was a rather surreal experience for me. “OMG” she goes. I waited. Simply waited for the bomb to drop. I gathered all my residual wits around me, for I knew I would need them for the translation business, if at all any translation was going to be possible. What I needed to do was to transliterate – not translate !!
“Holy Cranberries !!!!!” appeared on the screen next. “Cranberries ?” I wondered, in a stupor of sorts. “Does she really mean the cranberry cranberries or is this an abbreviation or slang for something else ?” asked a portion of my brain that still happened to be sane. “Holy Cranberries” she typed “something’s seriously flipped”. OK – now we were “talking” about someone and I’m not about to mention who – simply because it’s really not important. Looking back at what happened though, it was really funny – me sitting in the bedroom, Macadamia and Pecan in the living room and us communicating through (of all the things) Google Chat !! The fun was absolutely compounded (for me, of course), given the fact that Macadamia was throwing language at me that I could hardly make any sense of. Later on, I was given to understand that Holy Cow is really old fashioned, Holy Moly has been used a lot of times and hence is really boring. Thus was born the new terminology “Holy Cranberries !”
When asked how and why Holy Cow has fallen out of favour, it evoked a whole set of facial expressions first – as in eyes as big as saucers, jaw slightly slack as though to say “I can’t believe you just asked me that”. That was followed by a sigh and a rather tired sounding response “Because God, that’s like, so Jurassic”.
If I don’t understand something that the other person has just said, I’d probably say “I didn’t get that” or “Could you please say that again” or some such old-fashioned (apparently !!) thing. Macadamia simply goes “Say What ??” Yet again, the charisma of the whole thing lies in the way it is said. Those are two simple words – say / what. Put that together with a mouth that is stretched wide towards the sides, eyes crinkled as though there is sunshine pouring through the windows directly on her eyes and a long drawl to the question “Saaay Whaaat ?” Also the fact that the “t” is never pronounced. What you hear is something like “Saaaay Waaaaa ?” Enough said, eh ?!
I’ve (for as long as I can consciously remember) hated the SMS lingo. I can’t bring myself to call it a language, though, judging by popularity, the SMS lingo and Whatsapp lingo, is more of a language now than is English !! Now I’ve to deal with all these weird acronyms and what have you. With Pecan having got his hands on “his own device” as in “his own phone”, Whatsapp messages are bound to get more and more interesting very soon.
Tell you all what – I’m going to wait till I see Macadamia typing in “TTYL. MOS or DOS or BOS” and then I’ll go “Gotcha !!! I happen to know what that means.” Just you wait !!
“Say Waaaa ??. You don’t know what those string of letters mean? I mean, like, seriously ??!!” Well then, you’ve just lived one sentence of my daily life 🙂 Confused ?? Cool !! It was meant to be confusing 😉 !!
Gauri Venkitaraman dons many hats – a wife, a mom, a teacher and many more. Working as a full-time English teacher in HongKong, Gauri also raises and nurtures two terrors, affectionately known as The Nutty Siblings a.k.a Macadamia, a teen and Pecan, the ten-year old who behaves like he is fifteen. Gauri’s family means the world to her. Life is a lively roller coaster ride and we, as a family, aim to enjoy the ride together. http://tiny-tidbits.blogspot.hk/ is where Gauri pens down her thoughts and musings, in an attempt to preserve memories for posterity