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Marty Lich

Teen Talk and Other Interesting Life Lessons Learned
By Marty Lich
Sep 25, 2004 - 1:42:00 PM

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One thing I have learned in life is teenagers talk. Don’t pay attention to what you read about silent non-communicative teens. Teens do talk; teenagers talk a lot actually. In fact they talk the best and the very most while riding in your car with you. Enough that sometimes I wonder, (privately to myself of course) why did I give them a ride again? Must have been some reason, but due to old age, I forget why. I am sure it will come to me soon if I just keep thinking about it. Anyway, back to Teen Talk. Teen-talk while riding in your car kind of talk.

Besides the standard spoken “MOMMMmmm” said all drawn out in exasperation, other rather interesting and witty things come out of their mouths. These tend to start with “You are too old…”

Wait a minute, I don’t feel too old.  What do they mean, I am too old? Too old for what? Questions questions by this old ‘Mammacita’. But continuing on with my story here, I am innocently driving home the other afternoon with these teen people in my car, and I said, in absolute correctness and niceness to the stupidhead driver in front of me, with my windows rolled all the way up and in the privacy of my very own car by the way, “El Stupido.” Now that is much politer than other things I could have voiced privately in my own car about the idiot driver in front of me, but anyway, back to teen-talk coming from my rear seat. That comment of mine invoked an immediate response from them.

“MOM, you can’t say that!”

“Can’t say what?” I ask in complete innocence.

“Spanglish. You are too old to talk in Spanglish” said the two teen-talkers in unison.

Well I know a lot of the different spoken languages that are out there in the world. But ‘Spanglish’ is obviously not one of them so I asked in complete ignorance or old-age-ness “What in the holyheck is Spanglish?” Obviously I am way too old here or I wouldn’t have to ask that. Somehow I was left in the dark (ages) on this one.

Turns out ‘Spanglish’ is an actual language. A language I have been using long before even ‘Pidgin’ English. I just had no idea I was using a universally accepted multi-cultural language. And I speak several words from it. “El stupido” is just one of them; I also say “Muy rapido” and “Muchothanks,” and a few others on a regular basis. They all roll off my tongue with ease. Old tongue or no old tongue, they still come out of my mouth.

So I thought about ‘Spanglish’ all the way home with these two teen-talkers still riding in my car. I let them continue to ride with me because besides being a really old mom, I am, all things considered, a pretty nice mom. I don’t even charge them gas money to ride in my car. Probably I should charge them as they usually have more available cash then I do.

But anyway, back to teens talk and teens talk a lot. Yes indeed, teenagers talk a great deal and they like to talk with the most enthusiasm while being passengers in old people’s cars.


I can’t seem to shed that one. Huh. Apparently it is a real language with a real name and with real possibilities. We could toss out Spanish or English ballots, print ‘em in ‘Spanglish.’ That covers all the bases. Toss out ESL (English Spanish Language) programs in our schools, speak only ‘Spanglish’, toss out any and all written items printed in both English and Spanish. Use ‘Spanglish’! Why there is a whole host of things we could discard. If we old people can get permission from these vocal young and uninhibited teenagers to use their ‘Spanglish’ language that is.

Think of the money we could save! Think of what we could combine from the two former independent languages, Spanish and English. They are endless! Where have I been all this time? The language ‘Spanglish’ was ‘new’ news to me. Until the numskull driver drove in front of me that fateful day.

Yes, teens talk. Enriching talk about our world in general. Enlightening thoughts, even to really old people like me.

Listen to your teens sometime; they come up with some real food for thought. Even when they don’t know it.]

Marty Lich has served as a District Accountability Advisory Board Member (DAAC) for the years 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 as federally mandated under the No Child Left Behind Law. And she is an old ‘Mammacita’ (Spanglish for Mom in English) to two teens that talk. A lot.

Feel free to contact her at

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