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Monday, February 18, 2013


Even though I try to set a good example my five kids have picked up some appalling speech affectations and bad habits from somewhere. 

Jonah, who won debating and public speaking competitions when he was younger, now mumbles so badly it sounds like he’s talking into a paper bag.

Lulu has adopted that teenager vernacular where they all distort their vowels and speak in text language, LOL. 

Padraic, for some reason, speaks with a Tongan accent just like ‘Jonah’ from ‘Summer Heights High’. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of that one.

When my sister, brother and I were young our father was a stickler for the correct use of the English language. 

It wasn’t ‘orientated’ it was ‘oriented’, you don’t ‘have a lend’ of something you ‘borrow’ it, don’t end a sentence with ‘but’, etc.
Swearing of any kind was prohibited. My mother never cursed and even Dad didn’t swear (unless he was doing work around the house when he would direct his abuse at a hammer and use weird words like ‘pox-ridden’, that I’d never heard of). 
My kids laugh scornfully at me when I tell them that I wouldn’t have even dreamt of telling my old girl to ‘shut up’, let alone the crass expletives they freely and habitually fling at and around me. 

Times have changed apparently.

Many years ago when my fifteen year old brother Damo, was having an argument with my mother and sister, he turned to them and shouted in frustration, 

“Well f#%k youse then!” and walked off in a hissy fit.

Mum was outraged, “You wait until your father gets home, he’ll deal with you!”

When Dad came home from work my mother related the story to him. My father was furious and immediately went on the warpath.

Purposefully charging into Damo’s room he demanded,

“What’s this I hear about you saying YOUSE????”