Monday, 16 November 2009

Does anyone have a Mother-Teenager Dictionary?

Have we talked about this before?

Forgive me if we have... But I was very keen to share this clip with you from the British Comedy duo, Armstrong and Miller.

In their recent sketch show, they often portray war-time 'Johnnies' as you might see them in any black and white film of the period - But these potential heroes speak as only our British teenagers can... 'Yeah, but! No, but!', and so on and on and on.

I, and I'm sure many others, find these clips hilarious, illustrating as they do, the vast gulf, nay chasm, that opens up before us when we are dealing with Teens, Tweens, Text-talk, MSN and just generally chatting...

They even appear to communicate with one another in very different ways to those we used and those we use now...

Dictionary Pictures, Images and Photos

I keep chiding my teenager, Grizz, for how I hear him speak to his girlfriend on the 'phone... It sounds as if he is fighting with her, disrespecting her, putting her down - as I listen with my glass held up against his bedroom wall! The reality is in fact nothing like that, it's just the tone that jars my old-fashioned ears somewhat...

Alexander Armstrong (bizarrely, the son of the lovely learned man who was once my doctor!) was interviewed, in THIS article:

“THAT Vera Lynn, she’s well fit”.

“You like, crashed your plane, isn’t it?”.

“You can’t actually stop me cussing because I’ve got a hyperactivity disorder, I’ve got a note and everything.”

These are just a few lines from one of the best comic creations of recent times – the World War Two pilots from Armstrong & Miller, who talk in teen speak.

The inspiration for them came from a writer who heard two teenagers talking at the back of a bus. What makes it funny is the comparison between 19-year-olds today and teens who were risking their lives in the war.

Alexander Armstrong says: “The pilots highlight how our generation has evolved into this terrible state of self-regarding compensation culture, from the selflessness of the previous generation.

“Our pilots have a whole list of disorders they suffer from, which somehow should excuse them from any responsibility. Notes from their mum, asthma, learning’s a wonderful performance piece but a nightmare to learn.”

It's been a week, in the UK and Europe, where we remember and mourn our dead of so many needless wars... That in the end, we come to rely upon really young people to fight the brave fight, puts all of my own, self-obsessed, whinges into perspective sometimes...

Still, maybe we should start compiling that dictionary now? It took Johnson nearly nine years to complete his, after all!

Poppy Pictures, Images and Photos


  1. Well, I sort of helped with the Shower Curtain text post ( a few months ago.
    I have to say, sometimes my teens can say a whole sentence and I don't catch a single word. Must be the American accent ;-)

  2. I, too love A&M to start the weekend off with a laugh. Great to hear the writer's perspective. I like the guy who drops/destroys priceless artworks too. It's always inevitable but hysterical at the same time.

  3. You mean your teen talks to you? That's like WE-erd!!

  4. Talk, my daughter grunts at the moment!! There is something amiss...I hope its that she is overwhelmed with work...investigation in progress...sigh!

  5. I must say that I am lucky at how well my 16 year old daughter and I talk. There are occasional misunderstandings of the tone of a comment...both ways.

  6. I'm in the same boat as Artist Unplugged with my 16 year old daughter. Generally communicating just fine - partly due to my ability to read the time of mood and offer chocolate instead of conversation at certain times of the month I should add ;-)