Being an employee of an Eastside high school has its advantages. I often find myself on the avant-garde of slang. Of course I hear the same jokes, puns, and slang that I heard 10 years in high school: though now & then I am absolutely befuddled by what I hear.
It may be the easily decipherable calling of someone a “pan” but sometimes I hear some downright imaginative reinterpretations of what one normally hears. Usually rephrasings or pronunciations to fool the teachers. Many, I’ve noticed, are cryptic enough to go by the young Chicano teachers.
Now, although I’m currently at a loss for more examples, it’s proof positive that the true heirs, benefactors, and enablers of a language are the youth; and often the youth of immigrants. The use of “mines” versus the grammatically correct “mine” may have seemed grating to me at one point but I’ve come to feel that such nitpicking over language may be just that. Language, expression, communication is never static but dynamic.
These current speakers may not, contrary to English teachers, make Shakespeare turn over in his grave but quite possibly make him strain to hear the words used with such creativity and fervor. Just as art doesn’t solely reside in art galleries or museums, words don’t just live in dictionaries but also in the streets and high school hallways.