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Parentline Plus

Slang Dictionaries Help Parents Crack Teen Codes

September 15, 2008 06:54 AM
by Isabel Cowles
Parentline Plus, a parental charity in Britain, has just launched an online dictionary of teen slang to help parents better communicate with their kids.

Parents Want to Know What Their Kids Are Saying

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Parentline Plus, a parental charity in Britain, has just launched an online dictionary of teen slang on its Web site, GotATeenager.

The site was created in response to the more than 50,000 calls received by the Parentline Plus hotline in a year from concerned parents regarding teenage drug use, drinking, discipline issues and gang culture.

The dictionary is wiki-based and welcomes entries from parents and teens. By keeping contributions open, organizers make available the most up-to-date slang and jargon. To ensure that terms are submitted accurately, a group of parent and teenage “stakeholders” edit new entries.

Staying abreast of what teenagers are saying and doing is an important aspect of responsible parenting, according to Gregory Pollack, a psychotherapist who specializes in addiction at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. “It’s very important that parents brush up on ... slang, because just like with text messaging, kids use all these abbreviations and parents don’t know what they mean. But the more they understand what these things mean, the more they will be able to monitor kids’ behavior,” Pollock explains.

The American medical Web site WebMD also provides online dictionaries of teenage terminology. One of the site’s dictionaries translates slang words or abbreviations submitted by teenagers. Another list of drug slang clarifies the terms teens use to refer to prescription, over-the-counter and illegal drugs, as well as their effects.

Related Topics: Slang, teenage communication and technology

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