Lindsay Johns: Ghetto grammar robs the young of a proper voice

02 Sep 2011

I was writing about teen slang the other week. You may recall there was a quiz. Now, I love slang. And teenagers  in particular love slang.  But I have to admit there’s a time and a place. And what’s worrying is there seems to be a whole generation of kids who don’t know when to drop the innits. Because no-one’s told them they should.

One of the things I found shocking during the recent London riots – apart from the wanton vandalism – was the linguistic capabilities of many of the yoofs that were spoken to by the media. There was one kid they interviewed who finished every half garbled and unintelligible senetence with ‘ya get me?’. No mate. I don’t get you. Oh and by the way you don’t live in the Projects in Baltimore, so why talk like you do. He may have had a very valid point about social injustice, poor education and the lack of affordable housing in the Capital but I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. How will he get on in an interview I wonder?

A couple of weeks  ago I read a brilliant article by  Lindsay Johns in the Evening Standard about this very same subject. It’s a good read. Here’s the link. Ghetto grammar robs the young of a proper voice.