Interesting article in the Telegraph with a sub-heading boldly stating that teenagers are creating “a secret language to stop adults knowing what they are up to”.

Reading the rest of the text, it’s hard to grasp what all the fuss is about – surely teenagers have been creating new slang to communicate for a very long time? The only new aspect is the use of social networking sites.

Lisa Whittaker, a postgraduate student at the University of Stirling, who studied teens aged 16-18 on Bebo in Scotland, said the slang had been created to keep their activities private, and cited the example of one young girl who was sacked after bosses found pictures of her drinking on the website.

“Young people often distort the languages they use by making the pages difficult for those unfamiliar with the distortions and colloquialisms.,” she said.

“The language used on Bebo seems to go beyond abbreviations that are commonly used in text messaging, such as removing all the vowels.

“This is not just bad spelling, which would suggest literacy issues, but a deliberate attempt to creatively misspell words.

I guess at least this research puts to rest fears that the internet and texting are producing bad spellers – they’re just being creative!