Why kids can’t think critically any more…Part I


The radio comes on…and it is Kelly Clarkson.  She sounds like she swallowed a helium balloon and the background music is simplistic and repetitive.  In her shrill, high tone, she belts out:

‘Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Lather, rinse, repeat.  This got me thinking about the overuse of the words “like”, “yeah” and “ohmygod”…why do these words defy time and continue to hold over from the 80’s when teens first started using them improperly?  And by the way, “yeah” is pronounced “Yahhhhhhh.”  Examples:

Like he is so hot…yeah. 

Ohmygod…did you hear about Michelle…like ohmygod, yeah…

I used to call it “valley girl” talk.  But this type of talk is part of the standard “teen language” now.  On the way back from picking up my stepdaughter (15) and this week’s best friend (16), I heard the following exchange…

LIke ohmygod, we have to like go back to [insert pause] school soon.  Yeah…ohmygod…have you like noticed that there are a lot of trees around your neighborhood?  Like…no, like yeah…like ohmygod…you are right, there are like trees out there…yeah…like I never like noticed that.  [giggling]  Like Drew lives here?  Yeah?  Ohmygod!  Oh…like I made brownies the other night…yeah…like we can like [insert pause] eat them or something later…yeah…[giggles]

These are teens that are about to enter the 10th grade.  They are straight-A students in AP classes.  How does this breakdown of the English language occur?  Will Obama soon declare that the Nation is not just unChristian but no longer “enslaved” by the English language as well?  Like Ohmygod!  So.


One response »

  1. Kids are not taught critical thinking for one thing. Only in advanced GT classes and perhaps a few AP classes although by then it is usually too late. Far too late. Standardized testing is what is “taught.” In NYS they crow about increasing test scores…well yes…of course they are increasing…the teachers are teaching the test…the whole test…and nothing but the test! For example….4th grade is a total waste for my kids…yes they are both in the GT program so I do not speak of that…just their GenEd classes are piss-poor….my kids have not learned one new thing in 4th grade. Not one.

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