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Saturday, April 17, 2010


I keep hearing that Paul Simon line from a song on the album "Graceland": " . . . every generation throws a hero on the pop chart."

When I was a kid, "Pig Latin" was all the rage.
Pig Latin is a language game of alterations played in English. To form the Pig Latin form of an English word the initial consonant sound is transposed to the end of the word and an ay is affixed (for example, trash yields ash-tray and plunder yields under-play). The purpose of the alteration is to both obfuscate the encoding and to indicate for the intended recipient the encoding as 'Pig Latin'. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer, as it is simply a form of jargon, used only for its English connotations as a 'strange and foreign-sounding language'.
You can try it yourself here.

It was all the rage when we were kids. Dinner conversation between siblings or friends might included the sentence "Et'slay endspay ourway allowanceway atway ethay Andycay Orestay andway away oviemay." (Let's spend our allowance at the Candy Store and a movie.)

Then, we'd giggle and giggle with absolute delight - mostly because the truth was that our allowance might have been enough to get us one or the other but not both.

My mother would cast a jaundiced eye in our direction and respond, "No." She had no idea what we had said - well, except that it was something about 'allowance' in Pig Latin and that couldn't possibly lead to anything good.

It didn't matter. We'd giggle any way, which made her think we probably weren't doing anything bad. Which we weren't. Except, we were just being kids and wanting to find - if not make - our own understandable way in a world we didn't fully comprehend.

So, if we confused an adult, well, it gave us a certain small and momentary sense of mastery and control.

I suppose 'texting' is this generation's Pig Latin. Except, it's not just for kids. Indeed, just the other day, I had to increase my AT&T plan because I've started consistently going over my 'text limit' and it was costing me money.

You know, in a way, that last paragraph is its own form of Pig Latin.


"Text limit?"

Mind you, I'm a neophyte at all this so for me to go over my text limit is an indicator of something. I'm not sure what, but I think it represents a significant shift in my understanding of communication and socialization.

I mean, did you know that there's an entire online "Guide to Text Messaging and Chat Abbreviations" with terms that out-Pig-Latin Pig Latin. Here are some I didn't know:
@TEOTD = At the end of the day (My new 'pet phrase')

I know "LOL" but did you know LSHMBH = Laugh so hard my belly hurts? I didn't.

I LOVE this one: MEGO = My eyes glaze over

And this one brings back memories: MOS = Mother over shoulder

Or, this: PIR = Parent in room

I'll be using this: OATUS = On a totally unrelated subject

And this: PIP = Peeing in pants (laughing hard)

And, totally this: YYSSW = Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever
I think I probably should have gone to an "unlimited text" plan.

Texting has gone so much farther than Pig Latin. There is a whole etiquette to "flirt-texting" which is important to know so you don't slip into "sex-ting" which is illegal in many states.

Apparently, the language has gotten refined so that there's a whole specialization to "Twitter" as opposed to just plain old, ordinary, every day "Texting."

I don't 'Twitter'. Don't ask me.

I can barely keep up with surfing the blogs, writing my own, and checking in on family and friends on FaceBook.

Oh, and then there's the rest of life. It feels like I have to draw the line somewhere, you know?

I understand I missed out on a whole "Twitter Revolution" - which I followed on FaceBook - but most of it is admittedly pretty silly.

This just in: "Young Man Crosses Street In Manhattan. Still Can't Find What He's Looking For."

Some of it is pretty funny. I have already posted God Texts The Ten Commandments but I'll post it again, just because it IS funny.


1. no1 b4 me. srsly.

2. dnt wrshp pix/idols

3. no omg's

4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)

5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool

6. dnt kill ppl

7. :-X only w/ m8

8. dnt steal

9. dnt lie re: bf

10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

ttyl, JHWH.

ps. wwjd?
Some of it is pretty clever. Like my new favorite "Text Message from God."


Eight letters. Three words. One meaning.

I Love You.

That's so much better than Pig Latin.


Elaine C. said...

thanks -- that was lovely

Muthah+ said...

I am hoping to live long enough to LMAO when the whole internet comes tumbling down and no body knows how to write English anymore. I will be in vogue when the next bunch of young things get enthralled with the "Ancient Church" you know, when they sang funny songs and wore funny clothes and loved one another and taught about Jesus. Then people will come to my nursing home and sit at my feet. yysw

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

YWHOL (Yelling Woo Hoo Out Loud) - Just a little light Saturday morning whimsy.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Muthah - don't you just sound like every mother in every previous generation who resisted the change of the next generation?

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Well, I'm dyslectic so this is not for me :-(

PseudoPiskie said...

You really need to listen to this. A friend uses it in his liturgy course.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

GMO, GMO. I never considered the havoc this must wreak with people with dyslexia.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Dear Pesuedo - Listen to it? I've owned it. For years. PIP.

Lerewayah said...


Roll on the floor with joy at all the ways God shows up. You guys are great and demonstrating ways that we are made in the creative image of God. Talk about the Holy Spirit doing a new thing! WTG!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I love it.

it's margaret said...

My parents spoke pig-latin. Bummer. So then we found "op" --place an "op" before the soft sound in every pronounced syllable. Wop-e sop-at opat thop-ah top-a-bop-le opand spopoke thopis opinstopead.

but now, I confess.... I do not carry a cell phone.... (but I do skype and googletalk....) And on that line... we don't have cable tv either... but these circumstances have nothing to do with being old fashioned.... really.

Janet Detter Margul said...

I was born between generations. Pig Latin een-kwat as a child, but sometime in high school Astro-speak was the latest and we all were exclaiming "Ruh roh!" and "Ree roo rat rurch Runday!" I remember when our sadistic Spanish teacher assigned a three-minute presentation in Astro-speak, as we would have to give it to a mono-linguistic society -- in Mexico City. We meant it when we said Ree RATE Reñor Rurr."

CSDNLWM! (Come stumble down nostalgia lane with me!)