Chill, It’s All Good! What So Wrong With Slang?
By Laura Diaz original article published for BlueSuit Mom Magazine 2010
One rare and lazy Saturday afternoon, I parked myself at my local Barnes and Nobles/Starbucks, and happened to hear from a nearby table, “Chill! It’s all good, Ellie!”
And then the reply, “You do know that as a grandmother you shouldn’t talk like that?”
The grandmother replied, “I was saying ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, and ‘chill’ before you were even born, girlie.”
Yes, the grandmother! Now if you think the grandmother’s use of slang had me gritting my teeth and calling Grammar Girl, you’d be wrong. Although the grandmother was much older than me (so I’d like to think), I felt a sense of kinship. You see, I have been guilty of peppering my casual conversations with “cool,” “awesome,” and yes, the ever-annoying “dude.”
However, this unintended eavesdropping did mark the beginning of some serious introspection for me. I began to consider that when those first few lines around our eyes begin to appear in the mirror, if our use of the slang from our youth should begin to disappear?
Chances are that even the most hardened ambassadors for the proper use of the English language would find that they unknowingly use slang in their everyday speech. For instance, if you refer to someone as being an “ace” at something, that’s slang! If you say “O.K.,” that’s slang! Okay, so maybe that’s not as bad as “awesome” or “dude,” right?
Not right! Emma Thompson would disagree. The 51-year-old Oscar winner told the Radio Times in September 2010 that people who used slang when they spoke drove her “insane.” She added, “Just don’t do it. Because it makes you sound stupid!”
Elena Neitlich, an international etiquette expert who has trained etiquette trainers in over 30 countries and is owner of “Etiquette Moms” by Moms on Edge, says that although she agrees with Thompson to a point, she views the teen use of slang as “harmless.”
However, regarding adult use of slang, Neitlich says, “I believe that by the time we reach adulthood, our days of exploiting the slang lexicon are over. Slang use by adults is ‘ginormously’ sophomoric.”
Is “ginormously” slang? Or “sophomoric”? I’m so confused!
Concerning slang use in general, “Etiquette Moms” list a few simple rules:
Teens agree with Moms on Edge about the adult use of teen slang. In fact, there is a Facebook page, “Adults shouldn’t use teen slang,” dedicated to protesting this heinous crime. The page Officers, listed only as Debra’s Doodle, Vernacular Vigilante, and Jessica Wallace, Jessican of Jargon, say on the page description, “Adults out there get your hands off our vernacular!” They go on to clarify this statement by saying, “Don’t worry if you’re in your early to mid twenties…BUT OLDER ADULTS THERE, we are watching you!”
In fact, in 2008, they claimed August 20th as “International Correct an Adult Using Slang Day.” Wow! Sounds harsh, dude! I think I’ll stay home on that day.
Is there anyone out there who thinks adults SHOULD speak slang with their teens? I don’t think so; but there are those who say parents need to know WHAT their teens are saying in order to understand them.
Joining this movement is “Middle Earth,” a non-profit, community-based organization in Somerset, California. Their March 2010 article, “Teen Slang and Acronyms,” provides a list of common teen slang and encourages parents: “Although sometimes it feels easier to live in the dark rather than try to understand teenspeak,” parents shouldn’t give up.
In an article in The Independent, “Teenspeak is not for adults,” Martha Robinson writes that adults should steer clear of teen vernacular. She says, “You don’t need to speak like a teenager to speak to one, but you’d better respect them enough to talk to them like a grown-up.”
I am in agreement with many of the points Robinson and the “Etiquette Moms” make. However, is it really so wrong to occasionally use teen slang from our own era?
I am the mother of three teenage boys, two teenage girls, and a “tween,” 12-year-old girl. Since I have my finger so firmly placed on the pulse of teen angst, I decided to interview the “real” experts.
My sons, unanimously, with all of the enthusiasm a teen of the male persuasion can give, each mumbled a variation of, “I don’t care. You got anything to eat?”
My daughters shed a more illuminating light on this perplexing puzzle, especially my 17-year-old, who told me that she didn’t mind my occasional use of “awesome” or “cool.” She even said that this just made an adult more personable when they occasionally used their own slang. She made this stipulation, however: “If you try to use our slang, like, ‘bomb-diggety, or ‘g’, I tell you this—we’ll just stop listening to you altogether, ’cause it’s fake!”
She then put her arm around me in a motherly gesture and reminded me that I should never go to work and say to my boss, “Dude! This is awesome!”
Then , in an echo sounding vaguely like my own voice, she continued, “Because we both know that there is a time and place for casual conversation. Capeesh?”
My 13-year-old chimed in with, “Yeah. What she said. You just gotta’ stop snorting when you laugh. Because that’s WAY more embarrassing!”So, this is my vow to all those teens up-in-arms with adults who hijack their teenglish: I will never tell you that something is ‘bomb-diggety’ or ‘g.’
However, you will just have to bear with me if I tell you, “Dude! You’re gonna’ hafta’ chill! This is an awesome movie and the light from your cell phone is so NOT cool!”But about that snorting business when I get to laughing?
Chill, it’s all good!
Latin@s in Kid Lit is a unique new blog created by kid lit authors and dedicated to Latino/a children’s literature. The site was created to identify and promote books where youths can “see themselves in terms of race, culture, and lived experiences in the literature they read.”
The concept behind the site speaks to me personally, because I, like many other Latin@ kids, had a hard time engaging with books that revolved around characters who I could never relate to.
What was the first book that got you really reading, and why?
As a little girl I was a heavy book series reader. One of these series was the Little House on the Prairie books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now, one must wonder, what was it about these books that so addicted me? I was a little girl growing up in a multicultural urban city, what exactly was the magic this writer used to draw me into the world of a pioneer family that had the diversity of ( excuse my tired metaphor) Wonder Bread?
Well, I can tell you. It was Laura. There was something about her character that sang to me. Here was this plain-looking little girl that didn’t seem to fit into the expectations her family and community held up for her. Needle point and housekeeping just weren’t ‘her thing.’ She would rather be out fishing and exploring and reading books. As a child, I identified with her on an intrinsic level. No, I didn’t want to go fishing. It was the fact that she was a free spirit with a strong sense of right and wrong. And the consequence for having this genuine honest spirit was that she found herself in many a predicament. She also found herself on on the wrong side of “Nellie,” and at that time I had my own “Nellie(s)”.
One of the aspects of Best Practice Teaching concerns the importance of using students’ backgrounds, knowledge and experiences to inform learning in the classroom and during reading instruction. To me, that make a lot of sense. The logic behind this Best Practice theory is that schools and teachers should seek to create a bridge between students’ home and school lives.
However, we must admit that this ideal does not always model itself in the classroom. The reason for this, due to the demands of district and state curricular requirements,is that there is less time available for teachers to find the literature that will make those connections. Moreover, the relationship between culture and the concept of “culturally relevant teaching,” a term first coined by Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD in the early 90’s, has not always been understood.
In an attempt to throw a bandage on this, well meaning (?) publishers began pushing out a flood of books they classified as “multicultural.” However, much of what is out there misses the mark. According to Joseph Bruchac, in an interview with Scholastic.com concerning how educators should choose Native American Literature, the key is to “ Seek out books that depict characters from a well-defined individual native nation — as opposed to generic Indians. I say this because there are popular books that were written without understanding these specific differences. For example, in Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles — which is a story of a little girl dealing with the death of her grandmother — descriptions and illustrations are totally incorrect for the Navajo culture. And no one in any Native American culture would call his or her grandmother “old one.” Books like this are insensitive due to ignorance, not through intention — but it hurts just as much.” How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books
I personally believe that even if you get the culture right,(the setting, the colloquialisms, etc.) if there is not something in the characters that “sing” to you, there will still be no identification or connection with the reader. You cannot just throw together a multicultural book with what you believe to be just the right ingredients (language, culture, etc.) without the spice (real, identifying characters) that will make it stand out from a T.V. dinner.
It’s that undefined but intrinsic difference between the posole that your grandma makes and the can of it you can buy in the soup aisle at your local grocery store.
Yup, you know what I’m saying here, right?
No, I did not identify with the culture of Laura Ingalls, anymore than I identified with the culture where the kids from the Chronicles of Narnia existed, it was the characters. I connected with their emotions, their struggles, and their perception of the world around them. There is no magic recipe that will pump out relevant multicultural books to young readers. No, publishers will have to grab their shopping bags and hit the markets (and not the local grocery store where they are used to shopping) in order to find everything they need that will produce the product our young readers actually need.
Scholastic. com actually has an article that will help you on your quest to bring relevant multicultural books to your classroom. This article gives you a list of 50 Multicultural Children’s Books to start your search. Check it out! And you can help me out,sharing with me any books that you would like me to review. Just shoot me a message and I’ll check it out.
"Beginning with "a piñata in a pine tree" and culminating in "doce angelitos celebrando" (twelve angels rejoicing), the double-page spreads each contain a pronunciation guide for both gifts and numbers." --Horn Book
An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," in…
An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas … populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book’s conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.In this Latino twist on the traditional folk song, the narrator’s secret amiga‘s gifts include a piñata in a pine tree and cuatro luminarias, according to School Library Journal. The identity of the girl’s amiga is a sweet surprise and is sure to bring a smile to readers. The spreads are pleasing to the eye, with acrylic paintings rendered in vivid oranges, pinks, greens, and sky blue. A description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries are included in the author’s note, which also gives information on the history of the 12 days (beginning Christmas Day and ending January 5, Twelfth Night, the night before Epiphany, or Feast of the Three Kings). The last page includes the score. Booklist said “In trading a partridge for a piñata and intertwining English and Spanish, Mora has created not only a fun adaptation of a classic Christmas carol but also an introduction to many elements of holiday celebrations for families across the U.S. and Latin America.” Among the 12 presents that a little girl’s amiga brings to her are toys, musical instruments,and special holiday foods such as pastelitos and tamalitos. The final gift is 12 angels heralding (doce angelitos celebrando) the arrival of a new baby sister, preparations for which have been unfolding in the background all along. The illustrator is the sister of Belpré Award–winning illustrator Yuyi Morales, and these acrylic paintings share a similar colorful and vibrant style as they integrate words, numbers, Spanish pronunciations, joy, and excitement throughout each full-page spread. A glossary, useful author’s and illustrator’s notes, and musical notation are also included. The syllabic rhythm doesn’t always perfectly match the familiar tune, but that won’t make reading or singing this any less merry.
Pat Mora, a popular presenter across the country at conferences, campuses, libraries, and schools, speaks and offers workshops on literacy, creativity, leadership, the writing process, and serving diverse populations. “Sharing Bookjoy: Creative Literacy Leaders” and “ZING! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students” are among her more popular themes.
The author of award-winning books of nonfiction and poetry for adults and of many children’s books, Pat received honorary doctorates in letters from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo and is an honorary member of the American Library Association. Among her other awards are the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, a Visiting Carruthers Chair at the University of New Mexico, a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship.
A former teacher, university administrator, and consultant, Pat is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day (Día), now housed at the American Library Association. The yearlong commitment to linking all children to books, languages, and cultures and of sharing what Pat calls “bookjoy,” culminates in national celebrations in April.
Pat was named one of the “Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World” by Poets & Writers magazine in February 2010.
“Spanish phrases pepper the traditional carol as a joyful child experiences the holiday…A luminous holiday pick, especially for new big brothers and sisters.” –Publishers Weekly
Check out more from this talented blogger by clicking the above link.
If you’re looking for a book full of hope, humor, romance and speaks on second generation cultural differences this is the book for you!
A warm-hearted, humorous, family saga where traditions are challenged as three sisters embark on a journey of self-discovery in the quest for happiness and love.
Georgina Andreou is at a crossroad in her life; professionally she is successful, but her personal life is unfulfilled and lacking. As the family descend to celebrate her thirtieth birthday, Georgina finds it a struggle to wear the cloak of I’m-doing-just-fine. Still at home with her parents and siblings she is torn between the traditional Greek values she has been raised with and a more liberated, adventurous future. The time has finally come for Georgina to make some serious changes, if she is to lead the life she wants to lead as opposed to the life she is expected to lead. An encounter with Jake O’Sullivan finds her ready to take a chance on romance, but will she stumble at the first obstacle?
Georgina is not the only sibling in the Andreou household having to take stock of her life; Katherina is forced to face a secret she has kept buried for many years as feelings emerge for a new colleague, despite her resolve to make a go of a relationship with a suitor introduced by the family. Meanwhile, Sophia, the youngest of the sisters, and the most rebellious, discovers a new spiritual direction in her life.
A last-minute holiday to Greece strengthens the sisters’ bond as secrets unravel and hidden emotions finally surface on the veranda of their holiday retreat …
About the Author:
Maria Constantine was born and raised in London, together with her two sisters. Her parents had emigrated from Cyprus in the 1960s and her Greek-Cypriot origins were a source of inspiration for My Big Greek Family.
She studied Law at Queen Mary University, passed the Solicitors’ Final Examination and went on to follow French and German language courses at the Institut Francais and Goethe Institut. Maria travelled and immersed herself in different cultures while working abroad for a number of years, teaching English as a foreign language. Upon her return to England, married and with children, Maria juggled family life and writing. My Big Greek Family is Maria’s debut novel and she continues to write in her suburban London home, inspired by a thriving multi-cultural environment.
I absolutely love this book. It has broad universal appeal that I think would be of interest to adult men and women of all ages. I did not previously know anything about Greek family culture. I can see some wonderful positives to it but some negative restrictions as well. That is part of the appeal of the book…you take me into an interesting world that is foreign to my Southern California diluted German/Scottish/English/Norwegian/American roots. Your characters, dialogue, and plot are first-rate, and the story has a very wholesome feel to it but with a lot of depth to consider in the issues covered.~Bart Jahn, The High Standards of God in the End Times
This is a lovely family story made up of a strong plot, interesting characters, and good food. The imagery of the food is so good that I broke my reading up into two settings in order to go to a local Greek restaurant – wow, was that good! smile. Seriously, you do an awesome job of describing a family party: all the anticipation, tension, good times, and great food that were a part of it.
Wonderful characters in Sophia, youngest sister; Georgina, middle sister; Katherine, eldest sister; Dimitri, brother spoiled by all the women in the family, and the mother, Christina. Great imagery of many aspects of the life of this family: shared meals, “broxenia” or “the Greek version of a blind date with marriage being the expectation.” (I laughed out loud at that). Beyond the family, I enjoyed the description of Georgina’s day at school – as the teacher. It reminded me a lot of my own public school teaching days.
Marvelous story of the glorious, colorful, full-of-life, participants in a Greek family drama. I hope this finds a publisher soon. This is a delightful, charming look at a warm, loving domestic culture and customs with which most of us are unfamiliar.~Patricia A. Johnson-Laster, Break Free!
I really enjoyed reading what you have here. You are most certainly a very talented writer! What a story! Even your pitch had me!
“Alive but not living…” Wow! Just wow! That is only a sample of the MANY unique and well turned phrases that just flow throughout your work! I only WISH I had HALF the talent that flows from your pen! Highly starred.~Laura A. Diaz, They Call Me Blanca, Come What May
The ebook is sold at all major ebook retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore and many more. Below are two of the links:
Checkout this unique voice in Multicultural Christian women’s fiction @ http://mariaconstantine.wordpress.com
Then drop a line and let me know what you thought of it.
“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON
LESSON PLAN FOR TEACHING 6TH GRADE FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
The art of the metaphor – Jane Hirshfield
Lesson created by Laura Diaz using
Video from TED-Ed YouTube Channel
Intro: 6th Grade/ Figurative Language: How do metaphors help us better understand the world? And, what makes a good metaphor? Explore these questions with writers like Langston Hughes and Carl Sandburg, who have mastered the art of bringing a scene or emotion to life.
For now, watch this clip and take a peek at some sample questions in the lesson:
The speaker says that a metaphor is almost never factually true, but still can be “right” or not. Her example is that “We know what it feels like to be a square wheel but not what it feels like to be a tired whale.” What do you think it means to say “I feel like a square wheel”? Can you describe that feeling in ordinary language, without using any images?
The speaker (a poet, you won’t be surprised to hear) says poems are good places to find metaphors, and that when you read a poem about a cricket singing from a branch in the middle of a river, you will recognize that that image says something larger about our human lives and how we live them. That might seem a lot to put into a cricket. Do you think that a description of a cricket would be read the same way or mean the same thing if it had been in a science paper about crickets instead of a poem? Do we read things in different ways at different times, and can you say why a person might want to read a poem (or listen to the words of a song) at all?
You might like using metaphors when you write and talk because
A simile is
“An elephant in the room” is a way of saying
A metaphor is
Can you think of a day that you have never used even one metaphor to describe something in your life?
Would you rather live in a world where metaphors are NOT used? Why or Why not?
The speaker says that a metaphor is almost never factually true, but still can be “right” or not. Her example is that “We know what it feels like to be a square wheel but not what it feels like to be a tired whale.” What do you think it means to say “I feel like a square wheel”?
Can you describe that feeling in ordinary language, without using any images?
An example of an end of unit Assesment Project would be for the class to collaborate on making a “Metaphor Rap.”
Similar to what Mr. John Honish has done for his flipped classroom.
Published on Apr 17, 2013
Swagriculture Productions, Mr. Honish and Ms. Clarke, present a parody of the song “Thrift Shop” that teaches Figurative Language to the students at Turner Middle School.
You can subscribe to his YouTube channel to see more of his cool ideas!
If you have used social media long enough, you have surely experienced a few of those head-shaking moments when you see a Facebook post or a tweet that has you saying to yourself: “What were they thinking?!”
If you’re lucky, those moments are reserved for people you don’t know or aren’t in your inner circle, so you can sit back and not worry about the consequences.
Beyond giving the world dozens of English language masterpieces and inventing countless words (including the word countless), William Shakespeare, ever the overachieving bard, especially had a way with the romantic turn of phrase. Anthony John Peters explains why Shakespeare’s coy use of metaphor was so effective — and may just help you get a date today.
Now test yourself:
What are the common student responses to Shakespearean plays in the 21st Century?
Which phrase did Shakespeare not invent?
Which three poetic devices are used in the Shakespeare animation?
VIEW THE LESSON IN ITS ENTIRETY BY CLICKING THE ABOVE LINK.
When are words just words, and when do words force action? Linguist J.L. Austin divided words into two categories: constatives (words that describe a situation) and performatives (words that incite action).
For instance, is a “No running” sign describing your gait, or are you not running because the sign prohibits it? Colleen Glenney Boggs describes how these categorizations give power to words and, ultimately, to your actions.
THINK (NOW TEST YOURSELF)
Which is not one of the parts of speech defined by Austin?
If the headline reads, “Heatwave!,” but the sky is cloudy and it feels cold outside, what best describes the headline?
What is a speech act?
Which felicity conditions best describe a successful performative?
Just because a performative meets the felicity conditions and is clearly stated, it doesn’t mean it’s implicitly followed.
Describe a time when you disregarded a performative that resulted in another performative (for example, you ignored the no running sign and were banished from the pool for the rest of the day).
What is Voki?
Voki is an educational tool that allows users to create their very own talking character. Voki is created by Oddcast and is located in New York City.
Voki characters can be customized to look like historical figures, cartoons, animals, and even yourself! Give your Voki a voice by recording with a microphone, using our dial-in number, or uploading an audio file. Voki characters can be emailed, shared on social media, and embedded on websites!
What’s with the name?
Voki is a combination of the words “vox” and “Loki”. “Vox” is the Latin term for voice. Loki is a Norse god from Norse mythology. Loki is a trickster who has the ability to change his shape. Fitting name since Voki gives students and teachers the ability to change the character’s appearance and add a voice!
What is Voki Classroom?
Voki Classroom is a student, class, and lesson management system for Voki. With Voki Classroom, teachers are able to control their students’ privacy settings. Visit our Products page to see the benefits of upgrading to Voki Classroom.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you use VOKI to teach every lesson while you take a vacation in the Bahamas. But hey, what a great tool to have in your teacher tool box to use whenever you want to switch things up a bit!