A new threat is making itself known to parents who consider themselves well-educated. Text-speak is rampant in this country, and I for one intend to do something about it. OMG, Lol, and the like aren't words! They're laziness in written format. But what can we do about this most serious of issues? I suggest taking a page from the past, literally.
We all know the inventors of our language sound more intelligent than any other nation. We utilize this on radio and television ads all the time. For a cultured voice, imitate a British accent.
I propose, then, that we henceforth utilize as much Shakespearean lingo as possible. Think about it â€” if generic English is good, then Shakespeare's version must be better. After all, he's like the most famous Englishman ever!
Say your child is nearby and you don't want to refer to your irritating neighbor whose dog uses your lawn for a toilet as "stupid." Take a line from Measure By Measure instead when confronting the irresponsible one.
"Thou art a very superficial, unweighing, ignorant fellow!"
I'd be willing to bet the neighbor dog stops frequenting your poor crocuses.
Or, perhaps, your nephew is in your face, wanting to talk about his high score on the latest video game. Your sister wouldn't approve of you telling him to get lost, but he's driving you nuts.
Why not give him a pointed "Hie thee hence?" At the very least his flow of words might dry up for a few seconds, and you can get a charge out of speaking like Danish royalty.
Now, these situations are geared toward children, but there are times when Shakespearean can be helpful amongst adults, as well.
"Draw thy tool! My naked weapon is out."
We owe Romeo some serious thanks for this multi-purpose phrase. Useful for geeks fencing with toy lightsabers and writers preparing to revise the latest draft of their novel, it also leaves plenty open to the imagination.
So the next time you hear one of the text-generation OMG-ing about some so-and-so who's hitting on her boyfriend, motion her over. Whisper in her ear. Watch the smile spread on her face. Then beam with pride as she gives the churlish swag-bellied boar-pig what for.
After all, we're the role models for those younger than us. If we don't do our jobs well, we're no better than a bunch of gleeking pottle-deep varlots.
Which, as it turns out, might be a great way to refer to a certain 10-year-old girl with attitude issues…