Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I would get NIFOC but PAW

If you know what the title of this blog post means then you should either be ashamed of yourself or get out more. The answer's at the bottom of the post if you want to know*.

Different generations have always created new slang terms and with the massive growth of the internet and other forms of electronic communication, the pace of change has been ramped up another level. As ever, those who aren't young (like me) start to get confused about what the yoot dem are saying and think they're up to no good. And if you look at a site like this one, you'd probably fear the worst: that your son/daughter is engaging in pervy behaviour on a webcam in their room while you're reading the paper and picking your bunions in the living room.

But is the slang of the internet and texting, with all its BRBs and LOLs and ASLs really that different from what different generations used in the past? David Crystal, the bearded God of English Language, thinks not and wrote several chapters in his Txting: the GR8 DB8 about just this. Elsewhere, Ben Zimmer of Visual Thesaurus sees abbreviations in loads of older texts.

*NIFOC = Naked In Front Of Computer
PAW = Parents Are Watching

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