Listening to language

There was an interesting piece in yesterday’s Sunday Age about how schoolyard language is evolving. It’s reproduced online without the fun graphic that caught my eye – but still worth a squiz.

As an author, I try to be constantly alert to the idiom of people I might be writing about. An authentic voice = a persuasive character.

As a parent, I’m more alarmed than alert to some of this new slang. For instance, my son and his mates continually use “versing”, as in “I’m versing Josh at chess”. I’m forever telling them there’s no such word. To compete versus someone doesn’t mean versing them!

However, language is alive and always adapting to trends and conversational shortcuts. It may well be that my son will have the last laugh in an updated dictionary. “Look Dad, now there is such a word…”

Footnote: My daughter is four and a force to be reckoned with. She recently described some overripe fruit as “all fluggsy and budgie”. I reckon that communicated her feelings very well.

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