As a little American girl growing up in a foreign country, my parents were practically neurotic about teaching me the language that they had grown up with: English. Now I never had any issues speaking English, I have a bona fide American accent, but spelling and grammar were more difficult, because I was learning two languages at the same time. See French and English are two very different languages with different sets of rules, yet some words, such as marriage (in French; mariage) are annoyingly similar.
So I was brought up in the cult of good spelling, and I suppose reading a lot of Calvin and Hobbes helped somewhat (you’d be surprised what a six year old and his stuffed tiger can teach you about life). Everything was going perfectly according to my parents quiet scheme until 6th grade. With 6th grade came great responsibility. Sort of. In the form of a giant Nokia brick that I loved with all my might. All it could do was call, text and let me play snake, but it was enough for me. I discovered the wonderful world/time sink that is technology.
I started texting with my friends in an abbrieviated language form. “Ne t’inquiète pas” (
don’t stress your pumpkin juice don’t worry) became “tkt”. In English, “see you at four” was transformed into “c u @ 4″. At first, I freakin’ loved it. I felt cool and hip. My very smart parents, seeing what was happening, yelled at/alerted me that my french spelling grades were slipping fast and threatened to cut off my cookie supply if I didn’t fix things. This being, of course, unacceptable, I started writing the full words in my text messages. Some people thought is was lame, but looking back, I couldn’t be happier that I started writing correctly again, because seeing how some of our world is spelling today, I’m rather scared for generations to come.
I’m not saying that I’m perfect, on the contrary, I make mistakes like everybody else, but seeing my baby (um… 14 year old) brother asking a girl out by proposing ‘wana go sea a movi?” on Facebook makes me sad, worried and angry all at the same time.
Am I taking this too far and over-dramatizing the situation?
Dear readers, thank you for listening to my rant. It means a lot. In other news, I got A* on my IGCSE (international GCSE) so I’m really proud right now! Next year, SAT. Ugh.
Live long and prosper \V/
The Mostly Confused Teenager.