I'm blogging about middle schoolers, because I have two of my own and because Randy Russell's blog series about writing teen voice made me do it. (I'm the guest blogger on there right now, so you should go check it out)
My daughters are weird. No question about it. It's okay though, I like weird. I'm weird. I'm surrounded by weird. My daughters and I have a lot in common. And I'm not like that mom that says, "I'm my daughter's best friend." No. I'm not. But we like the same music, the same kind of clothes, mostly. I think I've even turned Thing Two on to knee socks.
That being said, there are things about them I won't understand. Ever. This bring me back to the original subject of the post: their language. I had Thing One and Thing Two in the back of the car with a friend the other day. I didn't understand ANYTHING they were saying. Of course, everything they did say was between a fit of breathless giggles, so that made it even more difficult.
They were throwing names out, half sentences, inside jokes, and slang. And they were talking like Pee Wee Herman. They love this, having watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure, which of course, just endears them to me more. I'd much rather them watch 80's movies I loved than the Hannah Montana Movie, Twilight, and High School Musical (although I have this thing for Zach Efron)
So, though there are definitely rules to writing in teen voice, I think they're flexible. I mean, of course you can't throw out a bunch of half sentences and inside jokes, but I think slang is flexible and so is what kids are reading, watching, and listening to, to a certain extent. Just make sure it sounds authentic.