A language of time

When it comes to the topic of slang, most of us will readily agree that it is a part of everyday life. Although it has become common today to dismiss slang as a lowering of the English language, I believe it is an ever developing language of its own that will be around for years to come. If you think about it slang has already been around for centuries and has shown no evidence of slowing down. With every new generation new words develop and even some old words seem to resurface if not with the exact same meaning then something relatively close to it in most cases.

Some people consider slang a natural way for people to belong someplace and reflect the times they live in. Some people also believe that ‘Slang may be a relaxed way of speaking, but the fact that people use slang to differentiate themselves from other groups means it can only be used in certain places”( Vinson ,Chicago tribune), however most slang words can be adapted into many different cultures and places. With all the technology that we have today it is hard for things like slang to stay in just one place.

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Every generation of young people seems to come up with a new way to say certain things I believe it is their way of differentiating themselves from their parents. Kids from any time period don’t want to think of their parents as being cool. The word cool is actually the most notable slang word that has survived throughout the years. If you were to go into a school today and listen to the students discussing parties or other happenings of their life most adults probably wouldn’t know what they are talking about, but the same could be said about any school at any point in time.

In today’s society you wouldn’t just go up to another teenager and ask where the party was, you would say where the function is. Also when describing a party that is going good you wouldn’t say this party is groovy man, you would say the turn up is real. Two different phrases from two separate times but yet they have the same meanings. Because slang words come and go it is hard to say what the effect of slang will be in ten years let alone fifty years. The words are constantly changing, some words come back but others just fade away.

Some of the words that I have noticed that are still being used are things like “having the munchies” which means you are hungry after smoking marijuana, and words such as “stoner” used for someone who does a lot of drugs and “wasted” which describes someone who is extremely intoxicated or high, are words that have been used in the 1960s but have standed the test of time and are used today. Other words such as “wig out” which means to freak out or “bogart” which means to hog something probably wouldn’t be understood in today’s society or at least by the youth of today.

Then there are words such as “ratchet” that are used today that are thought to be fairly new words that was developed in this generation but actually has a long history. Although when asked some might say that “slang is something that is ok to be used in a casual setting, but not in a professional environment” (dale). I believe that with slang, being the way it is, it is sometimes hard to say what can be used and what cannot be used in a working environment.

So many of the words we use today have become fully integrated into everyday speech that it becomes hard to know what can and cannot be used in a work environment. There are of course certain words and phrases that you wouldn’t use during a business meeting, but for the most part it should be known that slang words that have sexual meanings and hint at profanities should not be used in the workplace. Certain things like addressing your boss as your “hommie” I just something you should not do. There are many professions such as doctors and lawyers who use their own slang that was developed in the workplace.

In addressing the question of is slang bad for us, some people, such as linguist might say yes, while other people such as everyday people like you and me might say no. So who would be right? Although I believe that slang is not a bad thing and that it is not affecting or society negatively people like Edward Finegan a professor of linguistics and law at the University of Southern California says “Too many high school graduates cannot adequately understand the standard English appearing even in magazines like Newsweek and newspapers like The Cincinnati Enquirer. So can it be said that this is the result of too much slang usage? It’s hard to say for sure. Although I agree that there can be some downfalls to the usage of slang; I cannot say that it should be cut out of language completely. It is my opinion that Slang will be around for a long time to come, although there is no telling what types of slang we will have in the future I believe it will only get more creative as time goes by.A language of time

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