Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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