The Generational Language Divide

My tube-light finally stopped flickering today!
Whenever I have sat with feedback and comments from readers and friends, I’ve often felt the presence of a half-explained, ill-formed thought, swirling in the nether-regions of my mind, without clear definition and form; a thought that finally surfaced yesterday, as an obvious realization, when short of ideas for today’s column, I started going through previous comments and suggestions from readers as well as responses to an “ideas” request on Facebook.
Let’s see if you get it!
Reader/Friend 1: i think d ongoing craze n fan following 4 ipl is jst d bst topic 4 u 2 write on………lyk ppl jus leavin their work aside and going 2 the nearest tv showroom, friend’s place……or even a radio at the panwalla’s place jus 2 gt d score!!!!!
Reader/Friend 2: Well i am a 19yr old boy doing computer science not by interest but by confusion or may be i had no other options.I dont know is it just me who has landed up in something i never wanted to do or there are 1000s of students like me who are doing sumthing they aren’t interested in.
Reader/Friend 3: i saw ppl doing their daily WALKS on the sky walks..
is that what they were meant for…
Reader/Friend 4: Premium Fuel – Recent research has suggested that the premium fuel is only a farce has no significant improvement over regular fuel. Moreover, the pricing of the premium fuel is not regulated and has not relation to the price of regular fuels.
Did you get it?
Reader/Friend 1 is a 16-year old, Reader/Friend 2 is 19 years old, Reader/Friend 3 is 22-23 year old, studying in a professional college and Reader/Friend 4 is an adult, probably in his late-30s/40s. Did you get the gradual change in the writing method from Reader/Friend 1 to Reader/Friend 4?
When texting, I too use “c u at 4” to increase my typing/thumbing speed. Also, “Laughing out Loud” does not have the same impact as LOL. But this is nothing compared to the way teens and 20-odd-year olds communicate these days; it is a completely different lingo when it comes to the written word and it is quite obvious that the use of the English language has changed and that too dramatically. If the generation gap between my parents and me is a small divide, the one between the current 16-25 year-old kids and my generation is a chasm!
And yet, I am not a purist. In the early days of SMS, I just couldn’t bring myself to thumb “ur gr8”. But language and circumstances do evolve and utility and practicality often will win out! Nevertheless, irrespective of age and generation, bad spelling and grammar are still not acceptable, especially if someone writes the way an adult reader did last week.
Reader/Friend 5: I want to join with you and clean-up this indiscipline driving parking and make driving more peaceful than chasseing one other. What you do to a guy trying to squeeze in between when you are in a queue at a toll nakka or a Police bhendavast ? Some rules to be implemented. All buses to be play extreme left side of the road. BEST should be avoid moving on small roads and by lanes. Band all plastic bags.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that I would prefer any day that people go short on the language like the 16-year old, rather than macerate every aspect of the written English, the way Reader/Friend 5 has done.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared.Required fields are marked *