Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Staying Totally Tubular to the Max (Brian Katcher)
Greetings, all you hep cats out there. It's your old pal Brian Katcher, here to rap at you.
No, don't panic. I'm not going to hit you. You see, in today's youth slang, 'rap' means to 'have a meaningful chat with one's peers.'
As the author of popular teenage literature, I find it important to stay abreast of the popular youth parlance, or 'slang.' For instance, the other day a student told me that my books were really bad. Did I take offense? Heavens no! In the language of today's adolescents, to describe something as 'bad' means that it's actually quite good.
This is why I do my research. The life of today's young person is not all hanging out at the malt shop, listening to jive music, and driving around in hot rods (fast driving automobiles). The modern teen worries about such problems as acne (or 'zits'), being pressured into attending spin the bottle parties, or classmates who partake in illicit substances such as alcohol or marihuana. As an author, I find it my duty to speak the kids' language so I can 'get down' with them, so to speak.
When talking to teens, I know that due to my age many of them take me for a square. But I explain that I'm not too different from them. Heck, I once spent my weekends listening to rock and roll tunes on my hi fi, wearing blue jeans, and talking back to my old man (father). Soon, my readers realize I'm not a 'drag' but a 'cool daddy-o.'
And that's when I can share my life lessons. Smoking cigarettes doesn't make one look admirable. Sometimes Mom and Pop are worth listening to. And occasionally, it's the bravest fellow who has the courage to just say no.
Now don't expect to master teen speak overnight. It's complicated. For instance did you know that the word 'dope' can mean both 'a fool' and 'illegal drugs'? Or that 'hip hop' has nothing to do with rabbits, but is actually some sort of urban folk music? Not only do teenagers learn from me, but I learn from the them!
If you're interested in learning more about youth slang, contact your local reference librarian. She'll be happy to introduce you to books that can teach you the difference between 'funky duds' (expensive clothes) and 'bling blang' (expensive jewelry).
'Catch you later!'
PS My daughter will be a teenager in four years. This should be interesting.