Where you live at?

I just read an article (thanks to a link on Grace’s blog) arguing that fears about children’s use of the internet are overblown. In fact, says the piece, there are almost no incidents of molestation or harassment as a result of internet contact, mainly because teenagers who use the web know not to give out their physical whereabouts.

Several teenagers interviewed in [a recent film] make it clear that only an idiot would be lured unwittingly into a relationship with an online sicko: “If someone asks me where I live, I’ll delete the ‘friend.’ I mean, why do you want to know where I live at?” says one girl.

Um, okay. But what if what I’m worried about isn’t potential molestation but the deterioration of my child’s grammar?


8 thoughts on “Where you live at?

  1. !!

    To make it clear that there is NO charming ebonics tinge in this teen’s speech, I should have titled the post “at where do you live?” or “where do you live at?” But I’ll leave it for the sake of your joke.

  2. Continuing to follow the leads from the David Pogue piece that was pointed out by Grace: We find a highly literate and amusing reminiscence by Virginia Heffernan in the NYT Magazine of her own “youth online” – which makes Pogue’s point in a way that is going to appeal more to the likes of us. But also, you might look at (perhaps you are already looking at) the Frontline documentary “Growing Up Online,” which occasioned both their pieces, and which can be viewed online. In particular, those of us who teach will feel addressed by the teacher interviews, which we can also read on the Frontline site:


    Read Steve Maher for the teacher position of the type “you have to make things interactive and entertaining, otherwise you won’t reach them”; and read Rose Porpora, who tries to hold out and teach without the new technology and in accordance with her pedagogical values. Both seem to concur, however, that students no longer capable of concentrating on any one thing for any length of time.

  3. I wasn’t inferring AAVE; that use of “at” has a number of natural homes including Yat culture of Louisiana (derived from the phrase “Where y’ at?” instead of “How are you?”).

    But I did swallow my tongue at the possibility that you might be serious about “deterioration of my child’s grammar” — but then I got hold of myself.

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