Age and Language
Age differences define a particular way in which language is used. From my research, I was able to notice that the young people, aged 17-21, have a defined way of speaking. This is through how they interact with each other especially in this diverse world. College students are exposed to the latest technological platforms more than the elderly. The young can communicate more via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (William, 2015). Therefore, how they speak is significantly determined by their experiences with their online friends and what they find in the social media platforms. For instance, some terms they use are unique to only internet users, and an old person who does not access the internet cannot figure out the meaning of that word. For example, ‘FYI’ is a term commonly used by college students to mean ‘For Your Information.’ Hence, my findings were that college students used a language that was only common to them and could not be understood by the elderly.
On the other hand, the elderly also have a language that they use, but mostly it can also be understood by the young people. On the contrary, it is difficult for older adults to learn the language of the young people. Upon interviewing young adults aged 24-29, I discovered that 70% were familiar with the young people’s language and could most of the time understand and interpret the terms I requested them. This is because they are far much away from the youth and therefore, they also interact with them more often. Other findings were that these young adults also made use of the internet and this is where they mostly acquired the meaning of most terms used by college students. Mostly, they admitted that they have social media accounts that they run from time to time and it is still the source of their understanding the language of college students.
People aged 30-somethings did not seem to understand most terms I requested them to interpret. They had difficulties in figuring out the meaning of those terms. This is because most of these people are busy with their lives and they have less time to interact with the young or pop in social media platforms to check what is trending at the moment. This feature, therefore, deterred them from being able to differentiate most terms at their disposal. From these findings, I was able to conclude that most young people seem idle and all they do for fun is access the internet and share with friends by use of terms that they only understand. Also, young people embrace privacy, and they would not want their parents to figure out what exactly they are sharing online or what information they are seeking to know. Hence, this was one of the reasons they had terms only familiar to them.
In conclusion, every age bracket has their language that is unique to them, and mostly, it is difficult for a person from a different age bracket to understand (Cesareo, 2017). This is known as a dialect. Dialect can be useful in the various regions, ethnic groups or people of different age bracket. Therefore, my analysis was that each age bracket has a unique language to itself. This enables people to communicate freely without fear that what they are saying can be understood by a wrong person. Hence, communication privacy is widely enabled.
Cesareo, P. (2017). “Linguistic Diversity: Class, Region, Ethnicity, Gender.” Sassleback College.
William, C. P. (2015). “Language, Identity, Culture, and Diversity.” New America. Retrieved From: https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/multilingualism