Morphing Lingua Franca

After reading Kitta’s posting on the use of “Add Me” [as in “link me to your social network”] in F2F conversation I wanted to test its commonplaceness in conversations with my 15 yo niece. I asked how she’d like to address me in emails: UR, Uncle R, or Uncle Robin. I had a purpose to the question:

~ Was she imbibing the text/twitter/shortened/buzz word language? Much like Kitta’s “Add Me” posting?
~ Or has she engaged in classic Valley-speak, the one that’s ‘sorta-‘kinda-you’know-oh What-Ever… ? A semblace of regional integration, maybe?
~ Or some other incarnation of the constantly changing vernacular? And what would that be?

I wanted to know how her generation is learning a language while they’re encased in it. Learning by doing, eh? (in this case by kinesthetics too as they’ve been texting as much as they’re verbalizing from my observation) Although I couldn’t text-type ala my colleagues in Asia (ok that was a blanket generalization… how about – like my niece) I do know how to read text though. Does that make me e-texting disabled? (in which case, where’s my blue e-parking space?) Is this a view to some forthcoming change into international commerce’s lingua franca?

With fodder for linguistic researchers, this becomes more prominent for corporate communicators now. We’ve all learned how its imperative to be understood by our multi-generational audience but we have to constantly learn to balance amongst the various generations lest you may end up being considered too traditional, too conservative, too boring. Balance that with trying too hard and not hip enough.

My niece’s response was “UR” sounds like “Your”, “Uncle R” sounds like a gangster name, so I’m using “Uncle Robin.” Guess that answers my question.

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