Yes, I realize that it’s a slow gossip day! That’s why I have the time to write about one of my favorites, Ms. Emma Thompson, and her love of the English language. Emma loves language so much she wants to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. She wants to have babies with good diction. She wants to ride literacy into it’s begging her to stop.
Anyhoodles (Emma would hate that), Emma recently went back to her old school and all of the kids were saying things like, “Like, totally, ain’t it, dur?” This angered Emma. And she spoke about her, like, anger in a recent interview, you know, like, totally:
As Nanny McPhee, she had few problems getting wayward children to fall into line. And Emma Thompson no doubt wishes she had a few of her character’s magical powers to tackle her latest bugbear: the sloppy English used by the youth of today.
The Cambridge-educated actress, famed for her plummy tones, said the failure of many children to speak properly drove her ‘insane’. She said: ‘We have to reinvest, I think, in the idea of articulacy as a form of personal human freedom and power. I went to give a talk at my old school and the girls were all doing their “likes” and “innits?” and “it ain’ts”, which drives me insane. I told them, “Just don’t do it. Because it makes you sound stupid and you’re not stupid”.’
She went on: ‘There is the necessity to have two languages – one you use with your mates and the other that you need in an official capacity. Or you’re going to sound like a nob.’
The double Oscar-winner, 51, argued that while it had long been common for teenagers to have their own style and way of speaking among their friends, some were now using the same style of speech regardless of whether it was appropriate for the situation.
The Sense And Sensibility star attended Camden School for Girls in North London, which has a list of alumni that includes Sara Brown, Arabella Weir and Geri Halliwell.
She told Radio Times: ‘There is the necessity to have two languages – one that you use with your mates and the other that you need in any official capacity.’
Research published earlier this year revealed that some teenagers are becoming unemployable because they limit themselves to a working vocabulary of only 800 words.
Although they could often understand thousands of words, they restricted themselves to a linguistic range mainly consisting of made-up words and ‘teenspeak’ – which has developed through modern communication methods such as text messaging and social networking sites.
Communications expert Jean Gross warned: ‘We need to help today’s teenagers understand the difference between their textspeak and the formal language they need to succeed in life – 800 words will not get you a job.’
Tony McEnery, a professor of linguistics at Lancaster University, analysed 10million words of transcribed speech and 100,000 words gathered from teenagers’ blogs.
He found that the top 20 words used by teenagers, including ‘yeah’, ‘no’ and ‘but’, account for about a third of all words used. Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has also raised concerns about the ‘woefully low standard’ in schools, which is a cause for concern for employers.
[From The Daily Mail]
This is, like, a worthy cause. Okay, I’ll stop! I use “like” and “you know” and “I mean” way too much. In my defense, however, I know WAY more than 800 words, and I read and write all the time. I totally understand why Emma is pissed off, though. I hear teenagers sometimes and their conversations give me a headache. Emma should take them on, personally. And then she come to my house and personally give me a beat down for my conversational and writing crutches. You know? Like, I mean, come on!