by Carol Donnell, undercover contributing writer | April 29, 2020
Teacher Chihiro Ikezi may seem to be in especially high spirits this week, thanks to having won, after a week of competition, an important and esteemed honor yesterday. After five days, fifteen interviews, and seven grueling impromptu speeches, Ikezi won this year’s prestigious International Talk Like A Valley Girl Competition (ITLAVG) held at the Hampton Inn in Sherman Oaks, in Southern California, on Sunday.
“It’s, like, a big honor,” Ikezi said. “Huge. Winning was, like, friggin’ awesome! And the competition this year was fire!”
Indeed. Many of this year’s top competitors came by their speech patterns authentically. Skyler Thwaite-Jones, a sophomore at Woodland Hills High School and a quarterfinalist in this year’s competition, told The New York Times that she’d been perfecting her diction, syntax and tone ever since birth.
In addition to those with a geographic advantage, several of this year’s toughest contenders were sociologists and anthropologists who had spent decades living among and observing the children at various San Fernando Valley high schools— taking notes, recording conversations, and interacting with the locals.
“I spent six months learning the rituals and language of 14-year-old boys on the lacrosse team at Calabasas High,” said this year’s second-place finisher, William Thompson, a professor of social anthropology at Columbia University and author of Fast Times at Calabasas High: Performative Linguistics and Symbolic Power in the Los Angeles Suburbs. “Those are six months I’ll never get back.”
But Ikezi beat them all, and handily too. The Official Award Proclamation identified Ikezi’s speech as “the purest expression of Valley Talk that we’ve heard since, like, 1987, when Dakota Richmond stopped using exclamation marks.”
At the awards ceremony, which was held at the Cheesecake Factory— not the one in Canoga Park, but the one in the Galleria— Ikezi was positively radiating enthusiasm and excitement. “This whole experience was fan-tastic,” he enthused. “I just hope that The Lancer doesn’t use this awesome win as an excuse to make fun, again, of my outrageously large hat size. Been there, done that! But haters are gonna hate!”
During the award presentation, one competition judge praised Ikezi’s commitment to Valleyspeak, noting that his use of a limited number of adjectives was especially authentic. But then, in a nod to our more serious times, she also praised Ikezi’s sincerity: “his kind of enthusiasm can’t be faked. He seems to be a decent human being, and that sets him apart from most other human beings.” We agree. In these dark times, the overuse of exclamation marks, in the service of furthering science knowledge, is not a flaw to be mocked. But that hat size is.
This article is part of an April Fool’s edition of the paper. We regret to inform you that the content contained therein is fictional.
Categories: The Laughter Online