Monday, July 31, 2006

And what happened at school today dear?

Well, I ask my kids often enough, don't you? The answer is usually 'not much', or 'usual'. Though from teenage son, the response is more of a grunt than a word. I'm amazed how 'I don't know' has transformed from clear, audible words to something musical almost - to 'Iuno' with an accompanying shoulder shrug that tells it all.

But the amazing versatility of this response! Have you tidied your room? Iuno. Have you any homework? Iuno. Is that an elephant about to tread on your mobile phone? Iuno.

The joys of communicating with the young! I think I will have to learn txt spk. Then I cn tlk to thm in thr own lnguge. Or then again - maybe not. 1984! It's here - a few decades late indeed - but Newspeak is now common parlance over messenger services and mobile phones. And there's Big Brother as well - so perhaps all early science fiction was not indeed fiction but just time travel. I remember reading a 1957 book that had Texas as the last preserve of masculinity, the whole world ruled by women, and the opening paragraph stating 'It was ever since the UK had a woman prime minister in the 1980s' or something of the sort.

And they say that 60% of today's 10 year olds will be doing jobs as adults that we haven't even invented yet. So what will they say to their kids at the end of the day?

"Hv a nc dy lol?"

...
...
...
"Iuno."

Ah - maybe a little cynical - surely the written word will thrive in this world of blogs and on-line publishing rather than be degraded by abbreviations and contractions. But who knows! By the time my children are grandparents, they'll probably be 'reading' stories through a brain implant that is fully accompanies by image and sound.

"Did you enjoy that one?" as the braincast finishes and the family unclick and use verbal communication, by way of novelty.

"Iuno"
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