January 16, 2010 07:13
Korean teenagers are developing their own language of slang and cyber jargon. In a recent survey of 512 teachers nationwide by the Korea Federation of Teachers' Association in October, 75 percent of respondents said slang and four-letter words make up half of the sentences students speak. Some 20 percent said that slang and swearwords are up to 70 percent of conversations between students.
Ninety-two percent said that students use slang and swearword more frequently than in the past. Another survey of 199 students conducted by the Paju city government in May showed that 88 percent of students swear frequently. Of them, 30 percent answered that swearwords account for half of their conversations.
A high school teacher in Seoul said youngsters "often use their own slang to abuse teachers." "It seems that teenagers use slang or swearwords to ease stress and strengthen relationships with their peers," said Namkoong Kee, a psychiatrist at Severance Hospital. "Using slang or four-letter-words without malicious intent is not bad, since youngsters can correct their speaking habits as they grow up. But their abuse can result in indecent speaking habits or cause emotional disturbance."
A middle school teacher in Gyeonggi Province said he recently caught students stealthily exchanging notes in class but was unable to understand what they said as they contained so few standard words and were full of cyber slang and symbols. "I don't understand most of the text messages students exchange," he said. "Sometimes, I need to ask them to decipher them for me."
Teenagers'terminology of abbreviations and slang is created on the Internet and spread in cyberspace. Most websites ban the use of swearwords or obscene expressions in chat or postings, so to dodge the ban, youngsters abbreviate or transform words. They also create a wide variety of shortened words for cell phone text messages due to the space limit. TV entertainment shows also have popularized slang expressions.
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