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AS expected, the younger gen will always have this weirdly exaggerated way of describing anything these days. If one happens to be too good at anything. He’s either sick, wicked or just plain killing it. And before we go any further, let us just pause here and not anymore venture into the motion of enumerating other notable gen-slangs we know they frequently use in both their writing and speech. As a final shot though, the young people’s transposition of common English words like “dope, word, slay” and others, and using these to describe anything far from their original meaning, makes me feel like I must have slept a hundred years like Rip Van Winkle, only to wake up among strangely speaking people.

Then I am brought back to the days of my boomer generation when the most popular fad (at least in the country) had been to invert simple Tagalog words like “hindi” (no, not) to “dehins”, and then to be used in everyday conversations. While a lot of these have become accepted beyond our gen and absorbed in the local speak, a slip of the tongue today still often betrays one’s era of origin. Once or twice (oh well, quite often), I’ve been teased by these same younger people whenever they catch me using any of the 70s slang that I’ve found out I still used with abandon. (poor old soul)  

As one of the worst, there was even one time, a kid I was talking to quite seriously (and I meant poker faced) asked me, “what does that mean?”  When I told a fellow batchmate about the whole thing, she merely shrugged and told me that my age was showing. During another chat, she had again reminded me that because of my being forgetful lately, I was again getting old, to which I had replied, “and I love it.”

It is during these times, when I often wonder what our late English teacher in high school, Mr. Leoncio Deriada, would have said had he encountered these sets of day-to-day slang used by kids and young professionals nowadays. I imagine a snort and a dismissive “let’s go back to idioms” retort from that lovable grump who helped us dissect the likes of Shakespeare.

Through it all, starting from “dehins” to the present-day “slay”, I am honestly liking it from the view of quarantine existence. I like the way how overall, language and how we communicate have evolved, although I wished everything could go a bit faster. Evolution is non-negotiable so like all things, nothing lasts forever. I’m really excited as to what can happen next. If one were a linguist, or a philologist to be exact, language, including our local Tagalog and Cebuano, have a life of their own, as they continually feed off other influences. Just by that alone, it interests me no end. 

It’s equally-interesting in the same way one observes young ones navigate and explain themselves through life, using their own speak to express their young minds.



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