Sticks, Stones and SMS


Just when we thought the "e" prefix was safely retired, it returns for
an unwelcome encore. Enter the latest schoolyard menace, eBullying —the use of cellular phones, text messages, or the Internet to
distribute nasty or threatening quips. British researchers report that
of 11,000 children surveyed in a recent study, nearly 15 percent have fallen
victim to some variety of this new form of peer abuse. eBullying
parallels traditional verbal bullying in structure and content, but
opportunities for attack are no longer limited to recess and the lunch
line—eBullies can strike from anywhere with a few bars of cell
service or a Net connection. The real assault, however, seems to be on
language itself. Let's hope this one's nipped in the bud before "e"
catches a second wind. —Eric Mika