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Southern Eyes

We're well into the new millennium, so it's been quite a while since Abbot and Costello argued over who's on first. But it never gets old ... and it never quits.

When I was demoted/promoted from my career as a full-time mom to an overtime journalist/mom, I was introduced to the art of text messaging.

Texting has its own lingo. Some of it I've mastered, and some I'm still figuring out.

I was reminded the other day of one of those terms I had to learn -- idk. Ask any teenager what idk means, and you'll get a typical response: "I don't know."

This answer annoys parents, because we know the teens know, and we're going to make sure they tell us if it kills us in the process. But teens are not masters of communication (despite our cell phone bills, which prove that teens tell everyone else they know , they just won't tell you they know .)

So, when I asked my son, Kevin, why did he use idk in his message to me if he doesn't even know what it means, he grabbed the ball and took off with it.

"I don't know," he replied.

By the time all was said and done, Abbot and Costello would have been proud. (For the text-illiterate: "idk" really means "I d on't k now.")

Idk is a pretty busy fellow at my house. When I ask who piled wet clothes on the floor of the laundry room, Idk is the culprit. Idk also leaves the house without turning off any lights, leaves dirty socks on the living room floor and never, ever closes a cabinet door after retrieving a drinking glass.

Idk has some siblings -- "wuznt me" and "huh?" Awhile back, we were visiting at a friend's house when "huh" made a grand entrance. These friends live in the country, and all of our boys were shooting skeet behind the house. The other mom noticed that my James was not wearing hearing protection.

Like any mom would, she immediately took action, yelling out to him that he needed to put on the hearing protection. Not missing a beat, my James turned and looked at her quizzically, "huh?"

She repeated her instructions a little louder. He responded a little louder, "What?"

She still didn't catch on, and I wanted to tell her, but just couldn't.


"WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU," he shouted back, still keeping the quizzical expression.

She turned to me with a questioning look. I wanted to shrug and introduce her to Idk, but unlike James, I can't keep a straight face. Next time, I'll text her.

Web posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009

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