Code Words: Language as Means of Control and Rebellion

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Surprisingly today language is considered to be only means of communication by the masses. It has become an underappreciated way to exchange information about everything that is on our mind and because humanity uses it every day, they have become too used to its existence. This is one of the main reasons for slang appearance: different groups of people are trying to enrich the set of words they use every day. However, what seems to be left unrealized is the fact that it is not people that define language but the opposite: language, or slang specifically, defines the group that uses it. Such is the case of slang that young people use: in fact, youngsters all over the world create a whole new language that serves with the purpose to separate them from the older generations. Language as a form of rebellion against the system, against customs and traditions that have existed for years can be seen in both A Clockwork Orange and the modern world, including Bulgaria. On the other hand, slang is any new form of language, specific for a certain group of people, as is in Geroge Orwell’s 1984 – Newspeak is a completely new form of language that the government introduces to the nation in order for it to replace completely original English. Yet, Newspeak is still a form of slang. However, here is shown another use of it: slang as means of control, exactly the opposite of its use in A Clockwork Orange and today’s world.

In Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange Nadsat, or the language of a specific group of teenagers appears to be a very extraordinary set of words to be used in everyday communication. About 60% of Nadsat is Russian words that are used to replace the most trivial ones in English: words like ‘brother’, ‘boy’, or ‘girl’ are replaced with ‘bratty’, ‘malchik’, and ‘devotchka’ – all of Russian origins. Words like ‘kiss’ or ‘bell’ are replaced with the childish ‘lubbilub’ and ‘collocoll’ – as if a child, unaware of the actual words for the subjects came up with its...
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