24 March, 2011

The Art of Conversation


Image courtesy : 101nights.wordpress.com via Google

If there’s one thing the younger generation are masters at – it has to be “The art of conversation”. I mean, they are so prolific that it simply takes ones breath away and leaves one totally speechless.  Well, it sure leaves me speechless. The vocabulary is so abundant that it teems with words and is seemingly inexhaustible. Their versatile vocabulary is an apparent panacea for all the evils of the older generation.

Huh !”

That, just about, says it all.

Ever noticed how the younger generation needs just a “Huh” and “Really ?” in their linguistic repertoire to carry on, what they deem, is an active, two way conversation ?

They’ve successfully transplanted an elephant’s head onto a dog’s body.”

While a normal human reaction would be a gasp or a “What” or a nonplussed “What in the name of God are you talking about ?” and the like – a pre teen would probably respond to that with a simple “Huh ?” which, by the way, will have the capacity to make you feel like the biggest dodo on the face of this earth.

Take Macadamia, for instance.

Anything and everything, at first instance, is met with a standard response “huh ?”. And the “huh” goes hand in hand with what we’ve now begun to recognise as “the look”. “The look” is a combination of glazed over eyes, lips pursed together or slightly stretched as though she’s doing something really tedious (don’t get me wrong – that is not a smile I’m talking about), both eyebrows raised about as high as they can go. The effect is even more powerful when just one eyebrow gets raised and the other one stays put where it is supposed to. “The look” says it all. You feel totally on top of the world – if that’s where self-made dummies are generally found, that is.

The other day I mentioned something to Pecan and he responded with something that sounded like a bunch of sounds strung together. I, for one, could simply not figure out what he said or meant. The only thing I could make out at the end of all those funny sounding syllables was the sentence “Whoa ! That’s so cooooooooaaaaaaaaa”. Well, to be honest, it took me a few minutes to figure out the “cooooooooaaaaaaa” bit too. Did I not mention earlier that I’m kinda right at the top of the dummy ladder ??!!

Oh ! and just about everything now is a “thingy”. In any given sentence, every two words uttered in what was hitherto known as human language, is interspersed with “like” or “whatever”. One normal Macadamia sentence would be something like this ...

I’m like going to schooaa and she like calls my cell and like keeps asking about that test thingy. We have like this Science test thingy like sometime tomorrow. It’s like not exactly like a test but like it’s like a test thingamajiggy. And she like calls and asks me about some History stuff. What a doofus ! I mean – she’s really like ...... sheeesh, whatever !!!”

By the time she’s done speaking those Latin and Greek sounding sentences, I’m, for the most part, found reeling around someplace at home, trying to look normal and struggling to figure out what is being said.   By the time my brain comprehends what's being said and forms a suitable response in a more human language, the siblings would have moved on to something else altogether.  My response time is deemed "too slow" for their quicksilver responses.  Come to think of it, Google Translate should be inbuilt into parents and Google should seriously think of including "teengage" (a cooooaaaaa short form for "teen language" - or so I think) as one of the languages to translate.

Like I said earlier, my personal opinion stands at – The younger generation are masters at the art of making conversation. I know I am doing something I never do – generalize. But this conclusion has been arrived at after being at the receiving end of many a “conversations” with many pre teens and teens.

But then again (*wicked grin*) – who says there cannot be a payback time ?

We’ve been trying it out randomly on both Macadamia and Pecan and we’re rather delighted to see that paybacks are indeed effective – albeit in the short term. When Macadamia or Pecan say something, they’re randomly met with a “HUH ?” from Mom and/or Dad. Not always. Like I said, the magic word here is "randomly”. They don’t know when to expect it. And it sure bugs the hell out of them. (*evil grin once again*).

Well, what can I say ? We’re rather wicked parents, that way !!

Did I hear you say something ?

"HUH ?!”

2 voice(s) said so:

Anonymous said...

I guess you just came across a budding teenager of this generation. DH adn I couldn't get over the glazed, expressionless look and the monosyllabic responses...even from the brightest of them..including the ones headed to IIT or MBBS!
We found it amusing at the same time hope against hope our lil one does not reach that stage a little too quickly!

anushka said...

I will surely bookmark this. Great blog