What’s the texting capital of the world? It’s the Philippines. Wherever you set your eyes in the streets, in schools, in malls, you can see various people giving much attention in pressing the keypads of their phones. It’s been a habit for most of us Filipinos that on our leisure time, we spend it through texting. Admit it that even during class discussion some teachers and students usually look at their phones to see if someone had texted them. Texting here in the Philippines before was so single. We just shortened the words by sometimes omitting the vowels until a new style of texting was introduced and used – the jejemon way. Jejemon is a collective term for those persons who use a different kind of spelling and pronunciation on our English and Filipino words especially when texting. They are peculiar with their clothes.
The term jejemon actually came from two words: jeje and mon. Compared to us ordinary Filipinos, jejemons have a different language. They also have a unique alphabet called the jejebeth. It is quite different in our English alphabet because it contains both letters and numbers on their alphabet. They don’t mind the grammatical incorrectness of their sentences. It is very hard to read a text message of a jejemon. You would need minutes or even hours to understand what they are trying to say. It’s like it still need to decode these sentences to fully understand them. Like a jejebuster, Filipinos should stop too much exposure of this language to the youth especially now, even Grade 5 or Grade 6 students in elementary are already exposed in mobile phones and are so much fund of texting. Even before the dominion of jejemos, spelling of words is so much affected already by our simple way of texting. Filipino texters already have a different language.
Could you imagine what would happen to the proficiency of the youth on the English language if this rising number of jejemons continuously increased? Well, it’s simply a massive decreased on our adaptness in the English language especially when speaking and writing poems say for example. As time goes by some Filipinos who continuously use this language, the probability is for us to be fund of it that they might forget the real spelling of any jejemon word using our own alphabet on the English one. It may also result to less job opportunities because upon using this language even only texting, the way we speak ca be greatly affected. There is a less chance for them to be hired because their interviewer might not understand what they talking about. Our English education is also at sake.
Perhaps, because of these jejemons, our education might be destabilized. But in fairness to the government, the Department of Education already implemented some training to English teachers, disseminate quality English books and provide remedial classes to students. Department of Education officials and workers also coordinate with the parents of our students to encourage the youth in using proper English. Thousands of years ago, English was introduced to Filipino ancestors by several teachers brought by the United States by the end of the Spanish era in 1989. It was widely used until such time that it became the medium of instruction in all schools. This trend was passed on from generation to generation which made Filipinos at present proficient in the said language. In the long run, the Filipino’s adeptness in speaking and writing using English as the medium had helped the country attract foreign investors to support its industry thus helping most of the population overcome hunger and poverty.
This is one of the reasons why English is retained as the medium for communication next to the national language, Filipino. Perhaps, jejemon might also cause a decrease on the Philippines economy to have a greater economy, we need many investors and perhaps because of jejemons, the investors we are expecting to go in the Philippines would lessen. They might be distracted on the way jejemons dress up, speak and write. They may be offended especially our American investors because it’s like that their language had been disrespected due to the alternations on their alphabet and would be discouraged because of our poor proficiency in English – the universal language.
According to the Roman Catholic Church, the birth of jejemons is fine. It will just be gone as time goes by. We can’t do anything about it because it is one way of showing our freedom of expression. However, the birth of jejemons is just like the birth of bacteria. If we won’t kill it at once, it will multiply as fast as it could until it is already countless same when a person has a cancer at stage 1, could you like this to reach stage 5 or would you cure it at once. Since, there are still so many Filipinos especially Filipino texters who are not yet so much influenced by this new style of texting, we could still stop the domination of jejemons.
Filipinos should not allow it to reach its final stage wherein almost all, including the old and young speak and write words in a different way from what we are grown up with. Our national language – Filipino – is our identities. Jejemons worsens further our English proficiency today. Because of being popular, it is readily accepted by the youth which is very alarming. It influences a big part of our society where language means a lot. The distraction it creates on the technicalities of proper writing and forms of communication. This should be stopped before the worst thing happens; this is the passing of this form of informal language to the future generation.
Courtney from Study Moose
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