Sunday, January 31, 2010

If teens wrote our Classics

Have you ever actually bothered to listen to teens talking these days? Fortunately I know better than to think they’ll ultimately end up that dumb and inept at real communication, but still…it has me worried. I mean, it seems like each generation gets a little worse off with the written word. Can you imagine what our classic novels would read like if we allowed our teens to write them? I have…here’s a couple of samples…

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Now if our teens wrote it...

It was like the best time but it was like the worst too, it was like old people, it was like some retard, it was like this whole thought thing, it was like this big deal about urban legends and such, it was like the during the like day, it was like during like night, it was like prom, it was like mid terms, we had like free cable channels, we had like only PBS, we were all holy like, we were all like damnder juvis – like recap, it was like here but like it could have been anytime, ya know?


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.

Now if our teens wrote it...

Like no way was we gonna like leave the crib on that like day. WTF! We like were random through like the sticks and shit for like not enough time like before we ever get up; but like since chow time (Like crazy woman Reed don’t like eat late when like nobody is around, she like stuffs it early), the effin’ weather like blew and spew until our like outdoor activities were like smoked.

Let's all say a little prayer for the miracle of maturity...

54 comments:

Mrsupole said...

Yes, the miracle of still being here. FOA

Mrsupole said...

o nd lik ids 2 muc 2 evn thnk lik ny teenes wud reed lik a bk ny dy r ny tim ova ta yr cuz u knw id wud rely tk a brane nd ya knw nt 2 mny ov thm hav 1 wel lik ya kn wut i meen duya duya knw bt we luvs ya ya knw cuz i sed so.

It must be all that texting they do, which might also be why so few of them know how to blog, or read blogs. Maybe I know too many of the text words due to my teenage grandkids texting me too much. Sigh. But at least they love me enough to even text me, although the one who lives with us could just come out of her room and visit. Maybe I will text her and tell her to do that.

God bless.

subby said...

VE, find a little book called "Ignorance is Blitz" by Prof. Anders Henriksson...or I can send you my copy. I recommend it as an aside to this ;)

You won't be disappointed, heh, heh...

subby said...

Mrsupole's pretty spot on in her second comment! Poetical contractions are one thing, but entire sentences!?! ~~OY!

Tom said...

no books, just read it on facebook.

CatLadyLarew said...

Yes, the English language has been butchered. Forget about not writing entire sentences... the youth of today don't even write entire words. WTF? And I've become almost as guilty as them!

otin said...

I just busted out laughing when I got to the part about leaving the crib!!!

The Incredible Woody said...

You know you are old when your texts are grammatically correct.

JenJen said...

I'm cracking up; then I realized something: I should weap instead.

Quirkyloon said...

Ack! I'm gonna say more than one little prayer!

I think we all need to take a few days dedicated to just prayer!

Cuz this chews! Kewl. LOL. LMBO. Whattup?

ReformingGeek said...

LOL and I don't understand a word of it.

Yeah, we're damned....er...doomed.

Please, please, let them grow out of this nonsense.

Candie Bracci said...

LOL,such a good post!Enjoy your day!

Uncivil said...

Now I know why I didn't reproduce! Thanks for like reminding me!

Jaime said...

dickens makes so much more sense when written by a teen!

Elizabeth said...

I wonder what teens will be talking like in about 12 years when my little one is a teenager? I don't even want to imagine.

Baino said...

Oh big meany. I was surprised at the literacy of my son who's been a GenY technophile all his life. He can actually write very well when the mood takes him. I think Dickens and Austen would be horrified by the way we write frankly. I my self am also partial to a litte l33t when the mood takes me. ROFLMACOPTER

Maureen said...

It's like, wow. They can't even like make complete words, nevermind like, complete sentences. I could like never be a high school teacher neither.

(I once tortured my teenage daughter by responding to her dialogue with a number -- she asked what I was counting. It was the number of times she used the word "like". That stopped her soon enough).

aladdinsane12 said...

ugh, kids these days! :)
(she says as she types an emoticon onto the page)

Megan said...

I remember when like was cool.

Even worse:

"I was, like, fuckin pissed, man it was like the worst fuckin thing ever and we were, like, about to shit we were so pissed and it was, like, so fuckin ridiculous."

This is pretty fuckin close to, like, an actual sentence I heard on the bus yesterday...

:(

Tracie said...

Like that is totally like hilarious.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Still too well written for today's teens;-)

gab said...

Yeah I believe that lol around here its now re re for retards. (god how I hate that name and if you've ever read my blogs you'd know why) Even my 30 something daughter spells what wat I mean come on she isnt teaching her kids anything if she wont spell the words right! Good god I threw a hissie fit when my oldest sons teacher marked my sons paper wrong when he spelled two and she spelled it twe!he had it right but she marked it wrong. And that was over 30 yrs ago cause my oldest is 35. So does that mean after all that crap I could have left it be wrong cause the way they talk now its right? I hope now. Im now raising my oldest grandson and have had him since he was a baby and I really hope he spells better than the way he talks.

Janna said...

I despise mangled spelling and forgotten punctuation and clueless grammar.

Still, I'll try not to hate the new generation too much, as long as they don't forget to put the fries in with my cheeseburger.

And, like, no onions on the cheeseburger, y'know? I would, like, totally freak because onions are like, so, like, totally grody.

Janna said...

P.S. At least they didn't re-write "A Tale Of Two Cities" as "A Sale Of Two Titties."

The Silver Fox said...

Wonder how they'd mangle Melville, Poe, and Kerouac. You could do a whole series.

Mrsupole's "text" comment really cracked me up.

Gladys said...

WTF? No SciFi? Got 2 go NJ Shore on. C U L8ter

Bonnie the Boss said...

You got it just right! Plus none of them can spell!!
I get to spend 5 days in a cabin in the mountains with 21 teenaged girls...... let me just say,they are really noisy and scream a lot!

VE said...

Mrsupole – You write just like a teen texter…what talent at nothingness! I’m impressed…

Subby – Ok, I’ll be making a trip to Powell Books next week so it’s on my list. Yep, Powell Books is THE place to go in Portland. One of the biggest independently owned bookstores in the USA…it rocks!

Tom – I haven’t seen a book about faces on Facebook…ever!

Catladylarew – The youth of today don’t do anything “entire”…

Otin – You know what I’m talking about…

Incredible woody – Yes…I do

Jenjen – We can’t help but laugh…

Quirkyloon – I’m going to say a little prayer for the warehouse of cash…

Reforminggeek – Can’t we just ship them to teen planet until they do grow out of it?

Candie – I’m enjoying it!

Uncivil – The world does thank you for not reproducing… ;)

Jaime – It was the best of dickens, it was the worst of dickens…

Elizabeth – We won’t even understand them! They will think we’re senile. The circle will be complete…

Baino – There are some exceptions…let’s hope they’re the ones that go into leadership…

Maureen – Nice technique! I like it…

Aladdinsane12 – We can’t resist using some of it ourselves…

Megan – That is when you thank God for inventing the ipod so you don’t have to listen…

Tracie – Nice…you know I get a dollar everytime “like” is used in the world!

Perpetual chocoholic – I tried…but it’s hard…

Gab – The sad part is they see no value to spelling…

Janna – You despise grammar and spelling errors and you’re reading this blog? Ha! Oh…but I like your new book title…ha!

Silver fox – She obviously doesn’t sleep enough due to texting! Good idea on the series though…

Gladys – You are scaring me…

JGH said...

Yo, this is so dope, VE. You like gotta try some Virginia Woolf n shit! More, please!

lime said...

fortunately my oldest has always been pretty articulate. she'd come home from junior high totally annoyed with her teachers who had to look up the words she was using. sad commentary on the teachers though.

carlae said...

ok....now for the tweeted versions.

anthonynorth said...

That was funny :-)
As I see it, the use of the literary word has lessened in line with the speed with which we can compose - from quill to laptop - it reduces the amount of time to think between intent and writing it down.

monica said...

oh don't get me started on the teens.. In Denmark we say all the teen boys have lost all the consonants using only vowels whenever talking, and with the girls it is the other way around... hehe, actually a funny - and incisive - thought... but, maybe you need to understand Danish to see the fun...:o) put that on your "to do" list, Ve :o)

Roy Scribner said...

Teens? Like, my 8-year old talks that way, you know?

Unfinished Rambler said...

Is this going to be a regular series? I hope so...I don't think you have enough regular series (rolling eyes). Totally. ;)

Anne said...

I have a teen, actually two, but I can see this from the daughter unit.

Kurt said...

I am not in contact with any teens currently.

VE said...

JGH - I'm getting more requests. I have a lot of concepts readers want more of I guess...

lime - Yes, that doesn't surprise me. My son's Spanish teacher is an idiot...

carlae - Uggh. I can proudly say I have never tweeted!

anthonynorth - I agree...it's similar to when science is pushed ahead without properly understanding the ramifications...you get Jurassic Park!

monica - Ha! You are operating under the assumption that I have the capacity to learn another language. I have enough trouble with this one!

roy - It'll get much worse before it gets better...

unfinished rambler - Ha! Touche! But as of write now the only regular thing I'm doing is the Theme Thursday...

anne - And as parents...we can only blame ourselves...

kurt - Is this by choice or by restraining order? ;)

Moooooog35 said...

When my kids get to be teens the only thing I expect them to write is:

"Can we come out of our rooms now?"

But they won't text it. My robot butler will deliver the messages.

I'm so psyched for the future.

Nessa said...

Rabbit, Rabbit

Very funny. I'd now like to see porn versions and texted versions and tweeted versions for comparison.

I'm still looking for your secret porn name. Am I getting warmer?

Chris Wood said...

Oh very good. Very good.

Spaz said...

That was fantastic. So much so that I gagged a little, just like when I hear real teenagers talk.

Sornie said...

You're giving teens too much credit. Most of them couldn't even write complete sentences because posting to Facebook is all they know.

C said...

HA!!! LOVE this post!!! Good one, VE!

padraig said...

You need to do a mashup here.

Re-write a passage of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" the way a teen would write it.

VE said...

moooooog35 - You provided them rooms? You are such a giver!

nessa - Let me assure you it has nothing to do with tweet!

chris - I've channeled the teen spirit...and am a lessor man as a result...

spaz - Gagging is in right now. Look at Lady Gaga...

sornie - I know...but if stooped that low, nobody would even understand my post...

c - You're time is coming...give your little one another 12 years...

padraig - Ha! Now there's a challenge. But it isn't a question of whether I can write that, it's a question of whether I should. Each time I write as a teen, a puppy dies somewhere in the world...

Chris C said...

Romeo and Juliet

I met this hot emo babe and she was totally into me except our lame parents kept trying to keep us apart. Then she like killed herself and now I'm listening to Dashboard Confessional thinking about suicide.

I guess that's not a story opening, more like a plot synopsis. But I think it works none the less :)

Mrsupole said...

i cud nt hep misef nd i hd 2 du it i hd 2 fllw hm agn nd i m nt stkng hm ya kn kep mi rcrd up

GB

VE said...

chris c - Ha! It does work. But don't perform R & J at your local depression rehab center...

mrsupole - Sneaky...very sneaky...

Collette said...

Having a 16 y/o daughter & working at our local high school, it never ceases to amaze me the language these kids use. Swear words are just conversational to them. The "F" word is used in every sentence as it is used as a noun, verb, adjective, & adverb, if not more. I'm just glad my daughter has enough respect for herself & others not to use that type of language around people.

VE said...

collette - I tend not to use the F word that much...it's too common for me now. I use skijit. My word...nobody can use it...

Mrs. R said...

As a high school youth minister...you give today's teens too much credit. :)

VE said...

mrs r - I tried to look at the glass half full...

Monkey Man said...

Funny shit. I'm killing time and needed some laughs. Archives are the way to go.