Mind your language

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 May, 2009, 12:00am

Mind your language

The TVB show Sunday Report has recently been examining new phrases which are becoming popular on the internet.

Young people like to use these informal terms. This may be because older people don't recognise them, so the phrases set them apart.

I use these trendy words, but I realise there are two major problems with doing so.

The first is communication with friends. As these trendy terms are often created on forums or in other countries and often do not have official definitions, they can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

The second problem is that these terms are not suitable for use in formal language. We can't use them when writing a formal letter or doing our homework. I think we need to only use these terms when their meaning is clear to everyone, and we should avoid using them in situations where clear communication is vital. Annie Au, Leung Shek Chee College

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Annie. Using 'trendy' terms can certainly brighten up your language. But, they can also date you and your language.

We should avoid trendy terms like LOLs and BFFs in formal speech and writing, but we also need to look out for terms that are outdated. There are terms which people latch on to which are just as inappropriate as the trendy words, because they date our speech and writing. These can take the form of cliches, such as the 'hustle and bustle' of the city, or outdated expressions like using the term 'bigwig' for tycoon.

Susan, Editor