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Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:43 pm
by Meirav Micklem
I have a friend who is way beyond her twenties (has got her own bus pass, in fact) but still uses this sort of lingo when texting. I think it's cute, as long as I can understand it :-)

Glad though to see that there are some teenagers who are not sucked into it!

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:25 am
by Erik_Kowal
Tony, if your suspicion is correct, then gdwdwrkr/James belongs to the tiny minority of people in the USA who know any French. If the average schoolchild of today learns any second language at all, the chances are far greater that it will be Spanish, not French. People of James's generation, which I take to be the one that came of age in the 50s or early 60s, are even less likely to have learned a foreign language at school.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:55 am
by Edwin Ashworth
James' skill with French Polish is legendary.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:59 am
by Erik_Kowal
In addition, I believe he has almost made a Korea out of drinking Colombian.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:09 am
by gdwdwrkr
Ha! My entire generation can sing "Voolay voo cooshay al ninwah siswah!"
Three years' Spanish taught me "Besame colon" means "step on my tail".
And my Korea is actually drinking Turkey Greece.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:20 am
by Erik_Kowal
My apologies, James. Your 'Voolay voo' reference suggests you are 15-20 years younger than I thought...

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:45 am
by gdwdwrkr
From vintage '55 subtract an excess of immaturity and the remainder isn't much.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:02 pm
by Tony Farg
but your profile suggests you are at least 300 years old!

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:05 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Oops. I assumed you'd know it's (it was) 1655.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:46 pm
by Tony Farg
Ah. Merci!

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:16 pm
by MamaPapa
Erik_Kowal wrote: Tony, if your suspicion is correct, then gdwdwrkr/James belongs to the tiny minority of people in the USA who know any French. If the average schoolchild of today learns any second language at all, the chances are far greater that it will be Spanish, not French. People of James's generation, which I take to be the one that came of age in the 50s or early 60s, are even less likely to have learned a foreign language at school.
I suspect James knows exactly what he's talking about ;)

As for the rest of your posting, I'm not sure US research entirely agrees with you. According to the last US Census (2000), there were 2,715,000 speakers of French and French patois (including Haitian Creole and Cajun) as a first language in the US. That represented about 1% of the population (i.e., a tiny minority). However, according to the same census data, roughly 28,000,000 in the US considered their French fluent enough to deem it their second or foreign language spoken in the home. That's about 10% who consider themselves fluent---flawed, I know---but certainly more than a "tiny minority who know any French at all".

I'm uncertain if your second sentence refers to US schoolchildren or just schoolchildren in general; however, I can attempt to clarify a bit for US school kids. Since school systems are governed by individual states, there are nearly 4000 public systems in the US. Over 3000 of these have mandated 2 years of foreign language study for high school students. And you're right---most of the second language instruction is now Spanish. This began changing in the mid-80s as demographics in this country (and outside of it) changed. Until WWII, German was the most taught second language in US schools, according to Encarta's research. According to the 2000 Census, nearly 10% of the population still claims fluency in German (but way down from the 35% of US population in 1920). Since WWII and until the 1980s, French was the most taught foreign language for US students, again, according to Encarta, not my own survey.

Language (official, native, 2nd, foreign, or whatever) is currently a big issue in the US. There are unvalidated reports that as many as 48 million native-Spanish speakers live in the US. The latest Census report counts 30 million "native" speakers, many of whom are US-born bilinguals. Another interesting statistic: the Ethnologue lists the USA as the 5th largest Spanish-speaking country in the world---behind Mexico, Spain, Colombia, and Argentina---based on the 30 million number. The US could jump to 3rd if the 48 million report held validity...

Just some added thoughts....

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:36 pm
by Erik_Kowal
Thanks for the clarifications.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:41 pm
by russcable
Erik_Kowal wrote: My apologies, James. Your 'Voolay voo' reference suggests you are 15-20 years younger than I thought...
But are you basing that on Labelle (1975) (Number 1 on US Billboard charts for only 1 week) or the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (2001) (Number 1 on Billboard for 5 weeks) version?

... Ain't no big decision, you know what to do, La question c'est voulez-vous ...

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:44 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Edwin....I just got your pun. I'm a bit slow.....
I have french-polished 4 pieces of furniture in the last 27 years.
A tiny minority will understand and appreciate the meaning of that.
That, and french fries, is the extent of my repertwah.
Oh, and in my shop, SE HABLA ENGLISH.

Chatspeak stole my internet!

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:07 pm
by Tony Farg
Ye gods you work slowly!
I've always reckoned a quick coat of pollywolly does exactly what it says on the tin, and in 27 years I expect I could do about 60,000!
It must be your age...