13 August 2014

Reflections: ..... and a conversation with my Dad

Last week on the television I saw a list of 'new' words that have been officially recognised as being able to be used in the game of Scrabble. The words are all part of our modern language, many of them are used frequently by my teenage children, and they really got me thinking. The thing that struck me the most is just how much our language has changed in the last twenty years, or even in the last five years.

My own dad (Ron ENGLISH) died in 1978 when I was seven years old. He was only 36 and although it doesn't seem that long ago, the world we live in now is just so far removed from that in which he lived. I miss having my dad in my life, and I especially miss the fact that his beautiful grandchildren never had the chance to get to know him and love him.

My father Ron ENGLISH
(1941 - 1978)
But I often wonder; - if Dad was to walk through my door today, would he even have the slightest clue what my children were talking about? Or would the modern lingo be like a foreign language to him.

So just for a bit of fun I have decided to draw up my own small list of modern phrases and words that have slowly crept into our lives. We think nothing of them now, but what on earth would Dad have thought.

Where else could I start but with the latest trend, the 'selfie'. In 1978 there were no 'selfies'. Nor was there any 'texting', 'skyping' or 'tweeting'.  There was no 'going online', there were no 'downloads' or 'uploads', and 'the web', well that was where the spiders in the garden shed lived.

In 1978 you watched the tele, not 'podcasts', 'MySky', 'freeview', 'YouTube', 'dvds' or 'blu-ray'. There were no 'flatscreens' or 'HD', and if you were lucky you had not just one channel, but two. You listened to an LP, the wireless or the radio, as a 'cd', a 'playlist', an 'iPod' or 'iHeart radio' were not yet part of our world.

Dad played rugby, golf and tennis, whereas nowadays kids play 'X-box', 'Playstation' or 'Wii'. Back in Dad's day you swallowed your 'tablet', not played a game on it, and 'the cloud' was the fluffy thing that floated in the sky. Things weren't 'munted', they were broken, and if you wanted to know something you went to the library to look up the Encyclopaedia Britannica, not pull out your 'smartphone' to 'google' it.

In 1978 you couldn't be 'tagged', 'blocked', 'liked' or 'unfriended', and if you were 'followed' a call to the police may have been necessary. A 'Big Mac' was a large truck, an 'apple' was for eating,  and to be 'photo-bombed' sounds a very dangerous thing indeed. If someone said 'sweet' they were usually offering you a lollie and if the words 'sup', 'skuxx' or 'broski' came from your mouth it would have got you many odd looks indeed.

'Snail mail' existed but Dad wouldn't have known it as such, and an 'internet cafe', 'e-mail' and an 'attachment' were years away yet. 'Generation Y' was yet to be born and an 'anti-virus' was prescribed by your GP and picked up from your chemist. When you went to visit a friend the first thing you often asked was "do you want to go outside to play", certainly not "what's your Wi-Fi password".

In 1978 there was no 'speed-dating', 'rogernomics', 'glamping', 'me-time', 'hoodies', 'Angry Birds', 'Twitter' or 'zumba'. No 'cyber-space', 'couch-potatoes', 'fat-pants', 'puffa-jackets', 'Super 15' or 'flash-mobs'. No 'Big Wednesday', 'gigabytes', 'TradeMe', 'pixels', 'ringtones', 'widgets', 'hash-tags' or 'Facebook'.

The modern world is moving so fast that at times even I feel a bit left behind by it all. Technology is old and out-dated almost as soon as it is released, and it seems that only the young can keep up with it all. 2014 is indeed a very different world from that of 1978 when my father lasted breathed on this earth. I know Dad would have loved to have still been here with us but the modern world just wasn't where he was destined to be.

So back to my first question, ..... if Dad was to walk through my door today, would he even have the slightest clue what my children were talking about? Probably not, but I would sit him down for a nice long chat, fill him in with all that he's missed and help him to catch up.

No comments:

Post a Comment