The Painful Process of Getting Old

Do you remember the first time you felt really old? I mean the moment when it struck you that you’re no spring chickens anymore but, yes, as a matter of fact: adults. In my case it was when the neighbors’ children started respectfully saying ‘Good morning’ when they saw me and when my first pupils referred to me as Ms. Another important feature of growing old is, unfortunately, that you no longer understand the youth when they speak. For my current blog entry I decided to follow the English expressions adopted by the Polish language. And as they are mainly being adopted by the young people and their slang I found myself on a website with a nice dictionary of Polish slang. I thought that would all be familiar to me as I had just finished high school a few years ago and considered myself fairly young. How wrong I was! I didn’t know half of the expressions and what’s more I couldn’t figure out the meaning of many of them without having to resort to the nice explanations provided. As a student of English at least I didn’t have problems with the words that originated in this language although I must admit I hate the way they are overdosed among the youth nowadays (see? I already talk as if I was at least a hundred years old). As Polish is a highly inflective language the English words are often subjected to various changes which not always turn out well. Most of the words undergo a serious “face lifting” as well and end up being spelt in terrible manner, like e.g. guglować for google (which btw is also a fairly new invention to English language), hery for hair, lukać for look, fon – phone, apdejt – update, debeściak from the best, fristajl from freestyle and many more. On the other hand clubbing is now also an official Polish word but it’s still written in the good old English way. As this topic is long not exhausted yet I guess I will go on with my reflections on the transformations of languages next week. Hope to see you all then!

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