I often find myself despairing at the fact that my kids are slowly growing up into Americans! I grew up watching Blue Peter and Grangehill, the most unusual dialect I listened to was on Biker grove!
But for my children? Almost every moment they spend in front of the TV is filled with American kids programs like Victorious or SpongeBob square pants. They don’t watch massive amounts of TV compared to some kids I know, but it’s still a fair amount especially through the winter when we all have cabin fever and are driving each other potty!
Even O, who spends very little time actually watching TV but he is in the room listening to the kids programmes or whatever we watch in the evenings. But I will admit that If I do need to get a few things done I can usually get him to watch an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. I have a love hate relationship with this programme but that’s for another post.
So why is this all this American TV watching a problem? Well…
I am forever being bombarded with requests for cookies or chips instead of biscuits or crisps.
If we are out they want to press the button in the elevator ‘that will be hard sweetie, we are going in a lift!’
At what point did it become acceptable to call a series a season? I have a feeling the programme Lost may be behind that one.
‘Mami, LV isn’t walking on the sidewalk.’ Sidewalk? It’s a pavement(read in a very slow over-enunciated manner).
The baby wears a nappy NOT a diaper and he has never used a pacifier in his life, although he did use a dummy for a few months.
Rubbish goes in the rubbish bin we don’t have trash or a garbage can in this house.
‘No, you can’t have candy! You may not have sweets either, but you definitely can’t have candy!’
It’s bad enough that if I crochet or cook I have to decipher the recipe or instructions before I even start. Do we really need two different crochet languages, wasn’t one enough?(I have no idea which came first so cannot comment on that one) But now I also have to translate what my kids are saying too!
This isn’t just limited to my kids either. I have seen it amongst their friends and other parents have mentioned it too. So is this where language is going? Not only will we have text speak (really you don’t need to say LOL right after you actually laughed out loud) with words shortened to within an inch of their lives, but by the time our young teens are adults maybe the entire British English language will have been Americanised. With all of the borrowed ‘foreign words’ that have become a part of the English language – hamburger anyone? – so far maybe this is just another rung on the lingual evolutionary ladder.
I apologise to any Americans reading this, it is in no way a dig at you, this is just meant to be a humorous post.
Have your kids picked up some linguistic traits from TV programmes? Or maybe you have yourself, come on you can’t tell me you haven’t called a pushchair a stroller at least once in your life as a parent! Does it bother you as much as it does me, or am I the odd one out here? Also if you are American, with so many countries and different cultural influences maybe there is a US equivalent of this issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts.