I WAS telling my young niece that there was no such thing as mobile/cell phones when I was a child. She looked at me open-mouthed in that horror-struck way young children have when presented with astonishing news by ancient relatives.
She’d have been less surprised if I’d told her I was the one who started the Great Fire of London. I hardly dared mention that when I was young every single phone looked exactly the same - a huge lump of black bakelite with a silver dial that would sprain your wrist if you tried to lift it. Not only that, but many houses didn’t have a phone at all.
The better half lived in a village. His family didn’t have a phone but there was a telephone kiosk at the end of his courtyard. He said he and his sisters answered the phone if they heard it and then carried messages to people throughout the village.
Young people these days know nothing of these trials and tribulations as they all have a phone permanently welded to their hand. And, by the way, I don’t know why a 16-year-old who can babble away like a mynah bird on speed to their friends can only manage an inarticulate grunt when asked a question by their parents.
If they’re not talking into it, they’re writing away at the rate of knots in some kind of gobbledegook which I’m led to believe, is known as “text speak”. It all seems a waste of two perfectly good opposable thumbs, if you ask me, which they could be using to tidy up their bedrooms or bake a cake for their beloved aunt (me).
Heaven help you if they actually send you a text. By the time I’ve figured out what the hell they're talking about, they've turned up at my door expecting their dinner. How was I supposed to know that they were cumin (no, not the Indian spice but "coming") because they were *vin (starving. Star-vin, get it?).
1dRfl, I'm told, is wonderful and ilbl8 is I’ll be late. There are hundreds more of these tortuous abbreviations which all young people seem to know by some kind of osmosis from the moment their parents pay for their first phone.
Well I have a message for these teenagers, rtpprEulzgts. Write proper English, you lazy gits.
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