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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Teenspeak (LOL)

Blach Junior High School seventh-grader Katherine Foley demystifies the secret language practiced by her kind, to the befuddlement of most adults.

I'm not here to betray my kind and give this town the secrets to teenspeak. Oh, no. It's been a constant source of discreet teen communication, after all. I'm just here to reflect on this revolutionary new language, both spoken and used in instant messaging (IM), that occurs in books, movies and real life.

A popular book series is often enjoyed by teens and adults alike when it grabs the public's interest – teens, because they've got a book that's not "boring" and "stupid," and adults, because their teens are reading.

Lauren Myracle has written one of these mutually enjoyed series with her Internet Girls Series (Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2004-2008). Written entirely in the most popular contemporary form of teenspeak, IM or "text-speak," her books were read and enjoyed by teens like myself. Only three books long ("ttyl," "ttfn" and "l8r g8r"), this series does not seem likely to be completely understood by anyone outside our age bracket. (The abbreviation ttyl stands for talk to you later, ttfn means ta ta for now). Of course, there's the author, but not all adults are old and stuffy, right?

Not all the books cited include IM speak exclusively. There is the typical teentalk, where teens actually put down their cell phones and talk – but even this may not be completely normal.

Particularly popular when it first came out, Lisi Harrison's The Clique Series (Poppy, 2004-2009) managed to present the same language identification to slightly younger readers. The girls of this series, seventh-graders and popular girls, live on disses (translation for adults: insults) and their own code, as well as their cell phones. Harrison seems to have a great time going overboard with stories of middle-school popularity. The point is to laugh at these girls, but readers could find themselves wishing to be like the butts of the joke.

Guess how this wish is applied in the real world? By adopting the language of those very girls, their addictive teenspeak.

Stories and narratives aside, teenspeak is habit-forming, used often and annoys the heck out of adults. Understanding is only a factor of your age and whether you ever get out of the house. It's not for adults to speak. Any teen who has ever heard his or her mom say, "Whatever, dude," can understand that.

It's important, because without it, thumbs would be weathered and time would be wasted. If you don't know what I'm talking about, clearly you haven't had to navigate middle school while socializing on a cell phone.

You can find both series at the Los Altos libraries.

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