IT IS NEITHER POLITE NOR ADVISABLE FOR adults to inform teen-agers that we were once their age and that we, like them now, believed that we were on the cutting edge of culture and civilization. Nooooooo. Far be it from us to tell these highly sensitive, unique individuals that they did not invent tie-dyed T-shirts, the Grateful Dead or certain slang words. We will just sit back and present these offerings, duly labeled for our "we have all been here before" file: bummer n.; also, major bummer n. Tough break (Mrs. Bronson's Wheaton High School class, Periods 6 and 7). check you later; also, later colloq. Good-bye (Mark Garcia, Herndon). funk n. Someone totally uncool but who thinks he or she is the coolest in the world, as in "Look at those funks trying to skate" (Heather Lonergan, Frederick). have a cow v. To become unnecessarily angry, as in "I didn't do my homework and my teacher had a cow" (Mindi McGrath, Charlotte Hall, Md.). hooligan n. A hoodlum, but worse, as in "Those people are nothing but a bunch of hooligans" (Danita McKinney, Gaithersburg). wax n. A record album (Michael Roots, Washington). what's shakin' colloq. "What have you been doing?" (Audrey Ford, Washington). wow excl. Super, great (Mrs. Weiland's English class at Lord Baltimore High School, Fort Washington, Md.).

Linguistic observers are invited to send examples of teen-age slang to: J Street, The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.