Something I wrote for Aagahi that got published on June 28th 2008
Every birthday I ask myself if I really feel older or not. If you ask me, I have not felt older since I turned 15 probably because I did all my growing up by then and refuse to grow any older since. But I am feeling particularly ancient of late, and I was wondering why?
The reason is that I mostly don’t get the new slang that is being used the youngsters. Slang is an informal non standard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech. If I sit in their company for long, I do not get half the things they say and feel like a fish out of water. I was just recently admonished for not ‘Checking my vitals regularly’ by my teenage cousin and I laughed and asked if I look ill enough to get them constantly monitored (In layman terms, getting your vitals checked means getting your sugar level, pulse, blood pressure level and temperature checked). I was given ‘the look’ which basically says, “oh you are sooooooooo last century.” I was later told that checking you vitals meant checking your email, myspace, facebook and what not.
Now that the summer is here and everyone is planning vacations, one of my friends asked her colleague if he is going anywhere this year and he said that he is taking a ‘staycation’ this year. When she asked what a staycation is, she was told that a staycation is vacation that is spent in one’s hometown and exploring things around that area. Although what he will explore in
Chatspeak is something that I do find a tad hard to grasp at times. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a total novice, I know what a LMAO, muah, ROFL (do you guys seriously do this?) WTF means. It is the new chatspeak that emerge everyday that I find hard to keep up with. I recently heard a few new ones. One is TWSS which means ‘That’s what she said’ and IDGI which translates to ‘I don’t get it‘. Every one of us is familiar with a LOL which means laughing out aloud (honestly, LOL has been overused in chat conversations to a point where no one laughs out loud when they say it. What gets my goat more is LOLSSS that are even more liberally used). A newer term that has graced the chatspeak is LQTM, which means ‘Laughing quietly to myself’. According to urban dictionary, a website that stores slangs from across the English speaking world, says that LQTM is a more accurate representation of the human response to funny things seen on the web. This is such a widespread phenomenon that there is a website called www.transl8it.com that actually translate the chatspeak or txtspeak into normal comprehension able English.
Changing lifestyles also means that people are using newer slangs. One of my recent favorite ones is ‘bricked’. Bricked is used when one tempers with any electronic gadget to such an extent that it becomes useless. Bricking your hardware means that you are left with new and at times too big a paperweight. Next time you ruin your computer while trying to boot some fancy software, you can safely say that you have ‘bricked’ it.
Another slang I found quite funny is ‘nillionaire’. A nillionaire is a person who looks quite fancy without any money of his own. This person has either rich parents, or rich spouse or a sugar daddy who will take care of things but the personal bank account is nil, hence the term ‘nillionaire’. All of us get at least ten offers a month from various banks offering us a variety of loans and investment options. A new slang for such an invite is invitation for debt.
So if you want to stay hip and cool and young forever, stay in with the latest slangs, you will never feel old.