James Callahan, a 43-year-old sociology teacher at a high school in Massachusetts, has been keeping a running list of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) slang terms he believes is representative of the Gen Z generation that he overhears students using at school.
His list is so impressive and comprehensive that when he finally shared it with a class.
One of Callahan's students, Twitter user @Mewtailv2, posted a photo of a four-page document the sociology teacher created, titled the 'Callahan's Generation Z Dictionary.' Within days, the tweet went viral.
The photo shows the dictionary organized alphabetically with green and yellow color-coded columns, with the slang term on one side and his definition on the other.
In an interview with USA Today, the teacher explained the purpose behind his dictionary. “I often overhear students in the hallways or my classrooms using words (or) slang terms in their personal conversations, in order to understand them better, (and) make a connection with them on a personal level, I started asking them what certain words meant.”
The student says Callahan pulled up the document in class so that the class could help him update the definitions.
"I love learning the words that their generation comes up with — both the unique ones as well as the ones where they take an existing word and give it a completely different meaning," Callahan told BuzzFeed News.
"For example, when I think of 'snack,' I think Cheez-Its," he went on. "It wasn't until a month ago that I learned that an attractive person is a 'snack.' I'm laughing again just thinking about my students explaining it to me."
@Mewtailv2 told BuzzFeed News they learned about the list one day in class when "someone said something stupid and [Mr. Callahan] asked 'What does that mean? It’s not in my dictionary.'" Students, of course, then prodded him about this personalized "dictionary."
@Mewtailv2 said she and the class were instantly amused and impressed when he pulled the document up. "It’s so long," she said, laughing. "Most of it is right because he asks us to confirm or deny its accuracy before it is officially added."
Callahan confirmed this, and said he's not shy about asking a student in his class or in the hallways to explain to him what a word or term means when he overhears something he doesn't understand. It's also part of his job as an educator.
英皇娱乐网址综合来源：CGTN，Daily Mail，USA Today，Buzz Feed，Bored Pnada