The appointment is said to be especially important now the Duke of Edinburgh is set to retire from public life this year.Major TA, 38, moved to the UK from Ghana with his parents in 1982. "It's because you hear the cool kids saying these words and then you have to do it too. "Everyone in my school speaks like this," says Gus, a little wearily."Adolescence is the life stage at which people most willingly take on new visible or audible symbols of group identification," he says.
A 'perfect storm' of conditions has seen teen slang from inner-city London spread across the country. And, if you can't stop kids from speaking it, is there any way to decipher what the words mean? "You just begging now." The pair exit the vehicle, to blank stares of incomprehension. "It is likely that young people have been growing up in London exposed to a mixture of second-language English and varieties of English from other parts of the world, as well as local London English, and that this new variety has emerged from that mix," says Sue Fox, a language expert from London University's Queen Mary College, who's in the middle of a three-year project called Linguistics Innovators: The Language of Adolescents in London, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
"As one young girl who lives in outer London said of her eight-year-old cousin who lives in inner London, 'People say he speaks like a black boy, but he just speaks like a London boy.' The message is that people are beginning to sound the same regardless of their colour or ethnic background.
So we prefer to use the term Multicultural London English (MLE).
This has led some in the media to invoke Ali G and Radio 1 DJ and "wigga" Tim Westwood, and dub the patois Jafaican, though Fox points out that Indian, West African, and even Australian slang (nang is an Aussie term, as is dag, meaning uncool) are just as much in evidence, as are new variants - saying raaait in lieu of right, for instance - whose origin remains obscure.
"The term Jafaican gives the impression that there's something fake about the dialect, which we would (omega) refute," she says.