Guest blogger Diana Landen: Apple's new software to block sexting isn't going to stop our teens from sending dirty text messages. I want it anyway.
Why won't it work, you ask? Athena popped out of Zeus' head fully grown in Greek mythology, but the rest of us used to be teenagers. We know why it won't work. Remember discovering an amazing new thing that adults didn't know about: sex? Remember not trusting anyone over 20? I remember when you couldn't curse on TV. The writers for "Moonlighting" found a way around that; they invented the word "boink." We all know what boinking means now. So I'm pretty sure teens will find a way around the anti-sexting technology on the iPhone.
What is slang for, after all? There is a good side to the app, though. Swearing in the 21st century has become boring and crude. Apple is going to force our kids to be creative. Want to call your mom a name on your iPhone? Try a generator for Elizabethan oaths: "My mom's a craven, bat-fouling rabbit-sucker." Pretty soon our kids will be talking about "bawdy coxcombs" and "brazen strumpets." They may even have to pick up some Shakespeare.
Foreign languages are another good source for insults. Kids usually know more foreign curse words than we do, but they can find them online if they have to. If Apple tries to block French swear words, there's always Cockney rhyming slang: "My mom's a real Abercrombie and Fitch." Rhyming slang has a great advantage: You can always invent new terms if Apple tries to block the old ones.
If all else fails, our kids will have to keep inventing new words and phrases to say what they mean. This is better for their brains than just typing "u suck." So, I'd like the anti-sexting app for my teen. It might not stop him from talking about sex, but it would be educational.