Ask JoJo: Should parents address slang?

FIMM computer"There is a culture today where these young people use their own language and spellings such as 'dis is mahh beautiful baby girl' and 'sumpin Is wrong wit dis Pictures' (I actually took these from a couple of FB  pages of folks I know) and then there is the texting culture with abbreviated words. I know groups use their own slang to communicate with each other, but I wonder if there is a need to be concerned about  spillover into regular communication which could be cause problems... ie: job interviews, applications, etc. and how should a parent address this issue, if at all?"  -Joan Studies show that slang and text speak has already been creeping its way into the workplace and school.  High school teachers and college professors complain that this slang or shorthand has been seen in reports.  Many employers have also complained that these practices have been rearing their ugly heads in emails to coworkers and also to customers. I believe it was GoDaddy who had to send a formal apology to their customers when a cryptic email was sent out to their customers causing mass confusion as well as a less than professional appearance.  It cost the company quite a bit of money to rectify, in fact. Parents should address the issue of appropriate communication with their children to let them know that the informal slang and texting shortcuts are not appropriate for school or the workplace.  They should address the consequences of these practices and how they may result in a poor grade in school and not being considered for a job or a promotion.  I suggest parents take a look at our study, Say What You Mean When You're in Business as well as any of our high school/teen studies to help educate children on this vital issue.  Their career, happiness and relationships all rest on their ability to communicate effectively for each unique situation in which they find themselves.   NOTE: Don’t forget to submit your communication questions to for my monthly Ask JoJo section of my blog.  I’ll pick one question per month to answer right here on the blog!  You can ask anything related to communication skills from a tip on how not to be nervous making a speech to what games your kids can play that will help them hone their communication skills and even if your website or blog is clearly written! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you liked this post, read…Seven Reasons Why YOU Should Sign Up for the Art of Eloquence Newsletter!


  • Art of Eloquence

    Exactly! Good for her.

  • Carla

    I think slang of the times can be fun. . . PROVIDED that the people using it still know the correct way to speak or write and the appropriateness of using it or not using it. If it’s your main and/or only way to communicate, then it needs to be addressed. If it’s used in fun and sparingly, that’s different. My daughter speaks in street slang most of the time. Admittedly, I hate it. However, when writing letters or applying for jobs or when writing papers in school, she writes in extremely proper English.

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