We live in a world where abbreviations and short forms have become a part of life. It is not just the names or titles of people which are cut down but also common usage words have also been dragged into these styles. Not everyone uses these words, but the younger generation has their own way of addressing people of all ages. The point to be taken note of is that these kids and youth are normally accused of disrespecting others as their way of talking doesn’t suit the aged senses. We cannot blame anyone completely for this as the growth of effect of western culture over the Indian culture is not actually acceptable to all but since it has entered our homes through television it is very obvious for the children to adopt styles as per the western culture which seems to be the way to prove that they are aware of the outer world and can adjust even better and also love it. Parents have somehow adjusted to these so called styles of their children as they also happen to move out in the same crowd to stay updated and also learn ways to adjust to the temperaments of their kids and I feel this is a healthy step towards maintaining a friendly approach with the kids of today and also to help the children behave as friends with the parents. This is a matter of mutual understanding that we all have been in need of.
Slangs have been in use since a long long time which were not appreciated in Indian culture even way back in the 70s. Slangs were more of a part of American culture, culture which was not acceptable to the Indian minds as the definition of respect was based on essence derived out of epics which had strict rules and principles. Our ancestors have seen a strict disciplined life and considered it to be the best one which we also followed for some time and are still following but with a few adjustments. As per what we have been taught till now, respect should be felt from our body language, tone of our voice, usage of proper words and of course age difference matters but in its own way. We also expect our children to represent in the same way.
No matter how much the speaking styles and accent change, adapting ourselves to the new language spoken by these youth still makes us feel out of place. Shortening of words sounds irritating to the ears. I have even heard the older members of a number of families complaining that the kids of the modern world do not show respect to anyone and their upbringing is questioned. Using words like the most common one now a days on chat windows, LOL, seems fine only in chat windows but using this term in spoken language is irritating. A number of children are using this very frequently and just everywhere. When you can laugh, why not laugh? LOL is more of an arrangement when a youngster wants to laugh, but cannot, and also wants to mock at someone. Similar short words like ‘obvio’ for obviously, ‘IDK’ for I don’t know, ‘Ty’ for thank you which I recently saw kids speaking in a party really shocked me as it didn’t sound pleasing at all. Using ‘u’ for you and ‘r’ for are is understandable in message language and same goes for similar short words which are a replacement for short-hand script and much easier to follow. But typical slang like words should not be used as spoken language when amongst a large number of people especially in a family where people of all ages are listening to what you are saying. Though this is my personal opinion (of course, a lot have agreed on this), I am not insisting that everybody should nod head in affirmation.
Yes, usage of words is considered a reflection of our personality and opinions are set based on what and how we talk. The question does arise as to who set the rules of respectable language because thought pattern changes with every generation. We are also forced to think that if the present world language of communication is considered appropriate, then what kind of language will the generation after this one use? Either the entire vocabulary will change giving rise to a new Oxford dictionary or what people of the 70s and 80s used will come back with full force and a sigh of relief will rest on our hearts when we will feel respected by means of spoken language.
There are a number of aspects connected with the spoken language, but we must not forget that we are still humans for whom respect means everything. Had it been a robotic world entirely, then language would only have been a part of the chip(s) which couldn’t be munched on, static with a risk of virus which erases memory either for better or for worse.