Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

If By....Then

Teenagers form our cultural language. Even though we hate what they say and, most of all, how they say it, eventually, it seeps into our subconscious and we wind up mimicking them.

For instance, the overuse of the word "like." If you've spoken with a teen lately, you'll notice that this word is used so much, it's as if it's taken the place of breathing. They have no clue that they're inserting it into every pause in every conversation. It drives me to distraction. Nevertheless, I find myself using it and I'm pretty sure that most of my friends and acquaintances do too, although not quite to the same extreme.

I also admit to uttering other teen phrases, such as "Dude!," "Awesome!" and "______ sucks." I swear I'm not trying to sound younger, it just seems like when I'm in a pinch, it's what pops into my head.

Even the finally fading "Your mom __________" has jumped to the tip of my tongue only to be pushed back by common sense.

Well, folks, there's a new one, at least to us adults. And, I have to say, it's kind of clever and I'm sure I'll be guilty of using it in the near future. Today I saw it in the cartoon "Zits." I like to call it "If by...then."

Here's an example: My daughter and I will be watching a TV show and I'll innocently say: "That's funny, isn't it?" and she'll respond: "If by funny you mean stupid, then yes." Or we're eating dinner somewhere and my husband will say: "Your soup looks good." And I'll say: "If by good you mean disgusting, then yes."

See what I mean? It's brilliant in that subtle-teen-angst-with-attitude kind of way.

To which you'll reply: "If by brilliant you mean soon-to-be-irritating, then yes."


At 2:58 PM , Blogger Oreo said...

So, my kids get me saying these things & now you're doing it to me too!! For shame! I'll be saying that from now on! SO, if by saying the post was influential, you mean I won't be able to stop saying it, then, yes, it was! =^..^=

At 3:06 PM , Blogger Juliabohemian said...

my sister is 16 and I sometimes drop in on her blog. I laugh because it is so...vacuous. She's not dumb by any means. But, the blog consists entirely of acronyms and slang and who's cute and who's lame.

my grammar has gone down hill considerably since I had children, though.

At 8:15 AM , Blogger kenju said...

Very funny and so true. I was an English major in college and while my children were growing up, my language got corrupted as never before. I absolutely hate the use of the word "like" the way it is used now, but I find myself saying it.

Michele sent me.

At 10:19 AM , Blogger TC said...

Too funny. I can imagine what the little princess will have me saying when she is in school!

At 10:19 AM , Blogger TC said...

oh michele sent me

At 6:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes.

My oldest will be 18 in a couple weeks and I was talking to her today....I said two whole sentences and when I was done she said "What?"
It is like she doesn't even listen to me at all.
I imagined Chris Tucker talking to Jackie Chan when he says "Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouutthhh?"

so frustrating!

I'm SURE I was never like that!


At 8:23 PM , Anonymous catherine ryan said...

That's funny! I'll have to see if my 'kids' are saying it around school. Or maybe I'll use it on them!! "If by 'too much work' you mean 'you're lazy', then yes."


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