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The New Language Of Today's Children

Aug 18, 2008
It seems that the younger generation seriously have lost the art of communication. Yet how is this so, given that communication channels have moved on with technology, bringing us the mobile phone and email, which should, in theory keep us in touch even more than before?

Well, it's true. We do have more options but what happened to old fashioned communication skills - you know the ones, talking and writing? Technological gadgets are no longer the domain of adults but of children. If it's cool and electronic, they have it.
Mp3 players and iPods for their music downloads, electronic diaries and planners for their hectic social lives, mobile phones for that furious texting art, digital cameras and video to record their days and computers and laptops for emailing, photo sharing and more music downloads.

There have been reports that 224 children (unofficial figure) have been injured this year whilst walking and texting at the same time. It is impossible to see where you are going while you are feeding your addiction of texting useless information to your mates in words abbreviated to two or three letters that resembles a code your parents could never decipher.

Injuries have also occurred that can be attributed to the overuse of personal music players blasting music downloads into the ears at point blank range and at mega decibels. Burst eardrums are a common occurrence in the accident and emergency rooms all over the UK as are thick ears received from the parents when the kids don't listen to them.

Email may be a form of communication but what do you get for it and is it any better than snail mail? Of course, in the business arena, not having to wait three days to receive a communication is a godsend and has moved commerce on to unprecedented levels. But for the social life of children, sending an email can surely be nowhere near as satisfying as receiving a letter or am I just being old fashioned?

There is another language building up around emails and mobile phones that means that the English language is evolving into a serious of grunts, abbreviations and smiley faces. Trying to read a text from my daughter is like listening to someone on a dodgy microphone and more often I have to call her to work out what exactly the hell she was on about. I've managed so far that words are often abbreviated by removing most of the vowels, stick a few in and the possibilities are narrowed slightly.

Texts and email that are sent demand immediate responses and the rudeness of young people to put any conversation on hold to answer one of those non-urgent messages is simply infuriating.

Music downloads are another communication killer of our modern times. Wires from the ears used to mean a hearing aid, now they just signal 'don't speak to me I can't hear you'. More like 'don't want to talk to you'! Speaking from personal experience there is nothing more infuriating after a long, hard day at work than sitting on the bus home, craving five minutes peace and being subjected to the tinny racket of someone else's so-called musical tastes.

Casualty departments report daily of further accidents that have been caused by these personal music players. Walking in front of cars that you can't hear, muggings from people that boldly walk up behind you and would otherwise have been heard were it not for the big band blasting your ear drums and fights that have been sparked by jealousy of someone else's gadgetry are big social problems. I suggest we go back to talking, writing and listening to music on the wireless. Well, maybe not that far but you get my drift.
About the Author
Parenting expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way kids would rather listen to music downloads than talk to each other.
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