The Paw Print

Teens vs. Language

Alexis Morelli, Reporter

The English language is changing and growing constantly, with about one thousand words added to the Oxford dictionary every year. Americans and English speakers are constantly finding new ways to shorten words, use acronyms, or combine words instead. This, while efficient, could be deteriorating people’s personal archive of words they know and use on a daily basis.

The databases of words are constantly being added to.  Many of these words or phrases, however, can hardly be considered words. Abbreviations such as “LOL,” “OMG,” “SMH,” or “adorbs” are now a major part of the Oxford Dictionary’s slang section.

In any high school hallway or cafeteria, teenagers can be heard using words such as “selfie,” “litt,” “OMG,” and “shook,” as well as slews of curse words. Without even realizing it, the word “like” is used in nearly all sentences. This is partially a result of the hours that teenagers spend texting or on social media dramatically transforming their vocabulary.

Contrary to many people’s opinions, however, while this trend is frustrating, and often annoying, it is not necessarily a change for the worse. As generations grow and change, as does language. Anyone who has picked up a Shakespearean play is well aware of the vast difference between old and new English. There are clear differences, and the older English, for many people, is difficult to understand. This is not due to a lack of intelligence or understanding of language, but rather the simple fact that common words have  changed. The technological advances have seemingly sped up this generation’s changing of the language, and perhaps the changes are more significant, but that does not mean that the language is becoming less intelligent.

What is key, however, is having a large enough vocabulary to express oneself. A common error people make is using the wrong words. Vocabulary seems to have become less of a priority amongst adolescents, leaving them with difficulty or even the inability to say what they mean. Emojis are used instead of words, abbreviations are used instead of phrases, and overall, a smaller variety of words are used. This, rather than the words people use, seems to be the issue.

If someone does not know what words to use to properly express themselves, then they will be left either unable to say anything, or  end up saying something incorrect. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

How the Bears make their mark
Teens vs. Language