Friday, July 1, 2011

Thoughts on... Teen-Speak vs. Smart-Speak

Teen Speak: A dialect of the English language used by teenagers (normally between the ages of 13 and 18, though there has recently been a leap in speakers). 
This form of speech includes an overuse of words such as "like" and "umm". There is debate over whether small words such as "what" and "so" should be added, but as for now it is only the two previous words that can be easily linked to this dialect. (Definition from the Urban Dictionary)

Smart Speak: The more intelligent and literate way of speaking. The bigger and more colourful the words, the better. Sensory words are welcome. Extra points awarded for words with 4 or more syllables. Seems to be a term created by me. 

Recently I was looking through my reviews and was surprised by how many times I said something was awesome, fabulous, amazing, wonderful, spectacular, great... do I not know any other words? I tried using a thesaurus to find a bigger, smarter word. I didn't use that bigger word though. I do not speak like someone smart. I'm a total teenspeaker. I use awesome all the time. Changing that made me feel like a fake. 

Why? The thing is almost none of my followers will ever have a conversation with me and see the way I really write. They won't get to know what words I constantly repeat and which ones avoid since I try not to repeat words too much. So when I write a review, I try to write it like I'm talking. It won't be too formal but it's pretty much the way I talk. I want you guys to see that about me. Trying to make my reviews more professional isn't a crime, but I find there's a balance between trying to sound intelligent and sounding like yourself.

Many people say reading makes you smarter. Like, look at that chick, she's a bookworm, that means she has an awesome vocabulary right? Then they read my informal work and are totally surprised. Some of my best friends have writing that's a billion times more literate than mine though they don't read a quarter of what I read. 

My question to you lovely readers is what kind of review do you prefer? Do you like the teenspeak (without acronyms) or the smartspeak? Do you prefer reviews that are more distant and professional or reviews that are written like they would be said? What's your view?


  1. What do we prefer? GENUINE speak. Like you said, it's no good to sound "smart" if it's fake. You have to be yourself to engage with other people. If we wanted vocabulary lessons, we'd read a thesaurus ourselves.

    But then again, we use those adjectives (amazing, awesome, fabulous, fantastic, etc.) all the time too. So maybe we're biased? :P

    (No, seriously. We stick with our original answer: always be genuine!)

    (That doesn't mean you can't learn new things or be intelligent. But sometimes a simple word for something is just as good as a fancy one.)

  2. I like reviews that are genuine - the passion and excitement for the book comes over more that way, there's no good faking smart reviews that end up dry and flat, we want to read what you really thought, so that means you'd have to write how you would naturally speak about it.


  3. Awesome. I know what you guys mean and agree. Team Genuine for the win!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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