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parenting and language in the age of the internet

The McCaffrey-Allen siblings

Every year summer brings release from the mundanity and churn of the Portland High School system for thousands of teenagers. My daughter, the last of our three children to graduate from Wilson High in Portland, is now unbound and looking ahead to whatever's next. College, culinary school, follow her sister to U of O? She's unsure just now but all of that may not be front of mind as she's currently hundreds of miles from home, summering in Equador.

I'm not here to write about that wonderful experience because if truth be told I'm not receiving a lot of firsthand feedback during her trip; we'll debrief I'm sure when she returns. What interests me is how when she gets in front of a computer with an Internet connection, she rattles off her thoughts quickly and anti-grammatically into her Facebook message area in the way that perhaps only a teen could rattle them off.

June 14

sooo yesterday my first meal was this huge plate of rice, beans, carne asada, and sausage. it wass sooo good with their homemade hot sauce. and then we went and walked around and we went to the mall so I could buy sunglasses. after that we went to like the boardwalk where they have all the original houses from when guayaquil was first civilized it was crazy and it was 430 steps to the top we did it twice! thats where most of carminas pix are from.. last night we came to maria isabels house and were staying here until thursday then were going to quito until sunday with her. then on tuesday we go to the beach for 2 weeks! i dont think well have a computer there but carmina has a temporary phone that works here so maybe i could call you! ok well were going to a birthday party of one of maria elenas best friends marjorie !! i love you miss you. also make sure to look at carminas pictures!


June 21

its okay! yeah im having a blast.. after quito we went to the farm lands of ecuador and itw as amaaaazing. we were staying with a family and they had like cows chickens horses ducks pigs and everything. and the next day we went to the womans brothers house and he took us on top of this house and he said that our eyes couldnt see as far as his property went he owns like 15 or 20 miles of property of manderin trees, grenadine fruit, cacao, passionfruit.. it was insane and we tried all the fruit then we swam in the river, but i have a bunch of bug bites it sucks :( anywayyyys, were back in guayaquil and were going to the beach today for 2 weeks with maria elenas mom and sister and then everyone else is visiting us on the weekends. oooh also maria isabel is teaching me how to make ceviche... :) yummmm ok i should go, miss you, love you!! ill call you soon

It makes me wonder if one day our North American version of the English language could be transformed into a wonderfully lyrical style similar to Italian, or South African slang that is in common use today, guided by the free-flowing cadence of teens in social network arenas.

I hope so.

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Truman Capote and Marlon Brando have a chat in 1957