“Um, so, like, today I went to, like, er, school, and then I, er, saw, like, you know, um, graffiti, and like, gum and stuff on, uh, the, like, you know, um, like, er, walls.” Have you heard a teenager talk? It can often be painful to decipher their convoluted sentences. As more and more children grow up using ‘like’ after every other word, their verbal clarity suffers. With the plague of Valley Girl speak and text language it seems that people just can’t talk anymore. Sadly, this leads to miscommunication and a waste of time for those who must listen. What’s worse is that this type of language is translating over to writing as well. No longer are most teenagers creating well thought out, clear sentences, even on paper. Instead, a teacher is more likely to see this- ‘OMG. i jst saw tht gdhafi is lke, bad. tht soooooooo sux. he shld b ded.’ Unfortunately, this sentence is actually rather clear compared to some I’ve seen. As texting grows even more popular verbal clarity and intelligence seems to be shrinking. And with the additions of programs such as automatic editing, students have almost no need (or care) to spell correctly anymore. The epidemic of ‘like’ and misspelling among students, at least in America, is frightening. As Math and Science are pushed harder, even among elementary schools, students forget the need for English. I feel that very young children must have spelling and grammar stressed to them. As for text language I’m afraid there’s, like, nothing to be done.