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Young kids, bad English

I’m afraid that the time has come for us baby boomers to admit that our generation (I’m 60 and my father fought and escaped death multiple times at Guadalcanal) has not delivered to our next generation our historical fluency in English.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I would barb back and forth in iambic pentameter for the pure sake of mirth. Today our youngsters speak a dumbed down vernacular that spins around the word “like.” Our youngsters sound like birds. “I’m like, I was like, she was like, he was like and then I went like woah and then he said now way Dude and I said well yeah!”

How do we bring English back to our youngsters whose parents didn’t grow up in World War II after living though the depression and whose grandparents didn’t live through World War I? I suggest we start by saying back to them that we understand what they’re trying to say but do so in fluent English.



John Hornblower

Snowmass Village


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