Labouring over lingo

Labouring over lingo

Most children, though, would be happy if their parents stuck to OMG, BRB, BFN and GBY.

“I heard my son tell his friends, ‘Oh my parents just don’t care, they are cool.’ I didn't know what to make of it,” my friend shared her thoughts with me the other day. “Does that mean we are indifferent or ignorant?” she wondered aloud looking at me in confusion. I really couldn’t give her any answer.

“The measure of your real success as a parent can be known by the way your children describe you when talking to their friends,” goes a saying. I truly didn’t know what her son’s statement implied – what could being “cool” actually mean and how that could be attributed to a “don’t care” attitude”

The current generation of parents are a confused lot. The meanings of words as they perceive them can be very differ­ent from what their children imply. It is important for parents to understand wh­at their progeny is talking about. So it is imperative that a lot of time is spent and interaction is sustained to learn and unlock the mysteries of their expressions.

When they say, “Oh I am doing an onion check on that,” you will not scratch your head if you know that onion check means “checking of facts.” You will not look dazed by the remark that “she threw shade at him,” if you get the picture of her publicly disrespecting him. If they assure you, “we shall T-up surely” and if you can gather that they will certainly “turn up” in the evening for the family get-together, then you will not be caught with an ashen black face. If they come hug you and say “You are my bae,” you will not go bonkers if you know that it is an acronym for “before anyone else.”

Wow, how exultant will you feel knowing that they place you before anyone else! Studies have demonstrated that if parents showed interest, children were likely to explain their language, however reluctantly. Most of them, though, would be happy if their parents stopped at OMG, BRB, BFN and GBY.

Way back in 1675, after labouring for 35 years, Sir Christopher Wren presented his masterpiece for Queen Anne’s inspection. The monarch readily pronounced them to be “awful, artificial and amusing,” for in those days awful meant full of awe, artificial meant very artful, and amusing meant amazing! How amazingly, awesomely and amusingly the semantic usage of words changes. Centuries hence, how our children’s lingo would be used remains to be seen.

I remember the satirical yet realistic warning given by a new-age guru: “Don’t be a 21st century parent who cannot correct a child.” How pertinent! But before trying to correct them, parents must learn their lingo, guruji.