22 December 2006

Long Time No See Beta

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back." Harvey MacKay

Nei ho ma?

Ng g lei?

U no la!

No good wor.

I don't have bor.

Not me ar.

Ma fan lor.

Difficult ga!


What...? What did you say?

Don't get panic and confused. You are not alone. "La ar wor" is a different kind of "language" developed by the new generation of Hongkongers. If you are from the older generation, it is perfectly normal that you do not understand.

However, nothing is non-understandable as long as there is a way to understand it. Willing or not, that is the question.

"La ar wor" is not morse code. It can be cracked easily. One of the ways is to understand Cantonese slang.

Each letter or word selected has similar pronounciation of the word in Cantonese. For example, "ng" means "don't", and "g" means "know." "Ng g" means "don't know." Sometimes, it is the Hong Kong's way of pronouncing English. "No" actually means "know."

"La ar wor" definitely is not English. It is not even slang. If slang can be categorized into good and bad, then "law ar wor" is the worst. However, it may one day become the norm, such as "long time no see."

Although the language is commonly used among a group of young generation, it is starting to affect the society as a whole, and even becomes acceptable.

Some even encourage the new generation to write the worst slang because writing in bad quality is better than nothing at all. The older generation can at least understand the younger generation better. However, is this conversation without communication?

There are 4 types of people in terms of "la ar wor."

Noble - You know the meaning but you won't write it.

Gen BB* - You know nothing about it, that's why you won't be able to write it

Gen Z* - You know the meaning, and you use it

Copycat - You don't know "la ar wor" but you use it because everyone
around you uses it

Good English... long time no see...

* BB stands for baby boomer. Z implies inferior, the last letter in alphabet.

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