By Resident Linguistics Expert Richard Shnary

Education organisations such as Kidz Talkz Goodz (KTG) and Learning Children Words Better (LCWB) have raised their fears over the development of the language that kids are now being taught as a result of the lock down. Parents in the UK, as well as across the whole world, have had to take on the role of teachers with hastily photocopied internet pages. But with a whole family now locked within their four walls, with little chance of escape from each other, the tempers between parents have already been tested to the limits. This has meant that children may have been subjected to certain levels of bad language and grown up name calling beyond their years, and these organisations are worried about any shift in the established development pattern which could potentially upset the balance in the classrooms once things get back to normal. I interviewed LCWB spokesperson Sandy Ravage, on how she feels this problem casts doubts on many aspects within the education system.

TDJJ: “Miss Ravage, I read the statements from both your organisation and KTG. They both paint a picture of a future where kids of all ages have developed a withering view of the opposite sex and lots of swearing at much younger ages than usual. How have you got to this conclusion?”

SR: “Well, we’re aware that schools gave the children a bunch of schoolwork to do at home, and have since emailed bits here and there. However, due to the conditions at home during this time, we’re hearing lots of reports about arguments often flaring up over the homework: how much to do per day?, what time of day is best?, what’s a verb? – these questions and more can raise the blood pressure of even the most timid of parents, and naturally these disagreements can often segue into arguments about failed sex habits and confessions of gambling away family savings. We’re concerned that the kids are not yet ready for the type of language and threats involved, no matter their age.”

TDJJ: “What are your views the increased usage of tablets, video games and streaming services which all have noisy and violent content on them?”

SR: “Obviously, they play a part in growing up, though they’re much more prevalent nowadays. When I was growing up, you had to know a cool uncle who’d show you video nasties and gangster rap, it was much harder to come by. Nowadays, kids could have Peppa Pig on one tab and Black Eyed Peas on the other on their iPhones. Parents are usually more lax during these perceived holiday times, so there’s a real danger here.”

TDJJ: “You mention when you grew up, watching things you shouldn’t etc. But in the main, we turned out alright didn’t we? I mean, I’ve got a job and have only had a few run ins with the law in the last year or so. Just a bit of larceny. Why do you think modern kids won’t be able to grow up and become just as stable as me?”

SR: “We’re currently living in unprecedented times, it’s been a shock to everyone. But you’d think that parents would’ve been able to adjust better to the situation than they have done, and kept the swearing and insults under their breath a bit more like they usually do. Kids are hearing actual grown up profanity, unfiltered, and definitely delivered in a way the no child is capable of. Kids will invariably copy all this, and when they go back to school, we predict they’d all have swearing ability above the recommended level. So, a four year old could be swearing at a level reserved for eight year olds. You go up the ages, and soon you’d see year 11 students being able to use sexist slurs and personal vendettas that would have been considered impossible before the imposed lock down.”

TDJJ: “Do you see all this affecting attitudes concerning their education as a result?”

SR: “Definitely, they go hand in hand. If kids get too cynical and world weary before their time, and start to judge the opposite sex as little more than verbal – and some times physical – punch bags, then it’s obvious that they’ll find little point in studying and revising. I mean, surely you can see this point? If a child mind gets filled with adult viewpoints, any innocence is lost, and they’ll question things a lot more if all you do is grow to resent your partner. That might sound fun to some people, but we want to hold off this reality until kids are old enough to understand a bit more. Grown up stuff can be complicated.”

TDJJ: “And finally, if all this goes the way you predict, do you see any way back for children? Do you think there’d be a new ‘normal’ when schools open again?”

SR: “This pandemic will change a lot of things in society, like a reduction in public heavy petting and queueing to go into supermarkets. Education will adjust with the times as well. I can see more swear words being invented, stronger that the current ones. Perhaps the f- and c- words will no longer have the shock value, and we could also see films being re-dubbed with these new words so they can maintain their rating. Exciting times ahead!”

Published by The Daily Jabjab

Hi, I'm from Stockport, Greater Manchester England. My plan on my blog is to hone my creative writing and write a post every day this year. It sounds daunting, and I'm sure things will evolve over time. Let me know what you think about my writing - any tips, useful websites and things like that would be quite lovely. Thanks for reading!

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