French Theatre

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Briana Butts
English Comp. II
Professor Norman
12/13/11

Slang’s Beef with Standard English

Many people of today’s society use the slang, especially young people. Surprisingly not only young people use it, but people in the business world and the military use it too, just in a different form, such as using specific wording like abbreviations and code words. Even though slang is being used all the time, it is unacceptable in school curriculums. However, slang should be allowed in Standard English since there is little to no legitimate reason why students can’t express themselves though slang. Teachers simply say “no slang” when a writing assignment is given to students, but they don’t specify why. Slang is a playful, informal way to communicate, compared to Standard English and it’s used by almost everyone. According to Gerald Parshall, author of, “Words with Attitude,” “Even outside the subcultures, many people use slang to advertise an anti-Establishment stance that suits their temperament. They may see it as a truer form of communication than standard English”. The same goes for slang; as technology advances, more people begin using the same abbreviations used with texting in cyberspace, and in real life daily conversations. However, this is something one has to associate themselves with in order to truly understand slang. Because slang is the dominant way of speaking, the standard way of talking, may and should conform to the common slang language used by popular culture, since culture was the main source of how the English language came to be. According to Fred Robinson, author of "The History of English and Its Practical Uses”, English is a Germanic language. Some things made an influence in the change of many English words such as Shakespeare writers, but many harmless words have different and or offending connotations. Germanic language is connected to modern English and is considered to be a proto language. Speakers of the Germanic language migrated to Britain and stamped their mark by changing the language, whom was the Anglo-Saxons. Their language was explicit and to the point, however only 25 percent of the words in modern English came from old English. The Anglo-Saxons language was predominated from 449 to 1066 ad., when William the conqueror overthrew the English class and replaced it with French. But, The English were stubborn about the change of language which resulted in many words from the French being borrowed by the English (Robinson). Most of the influence in the language change was caused by invasions. People were expected to speak the language of their invaders, while others from different countries were inspired to use other languages to express themselves, like English and French. People used language as a tool for better communication and expression. Nowadays, people are repeating the pattern with a twist by using the slang language as that tool. This language was created by the same people who use Standard English because Standard English sets the foundation for slang. People have to be familiar with proper English in order to know how and when to use slang. Many scholarly writers agree that slang is a good and interesting way of communication and expression. Writers like Michael Adams, Tom Dalzell author of “The Power of Slang ,” Hugh Rawson, E.J. Lighter who co-wrote the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, and he wrote the article "SLANG" all tend to find a deeper perspective on slang. These writers view slang as a form of poetry and art. It is a less tense but more relaxed and creative way of interacting with people. Michael Adams, author of the book “Slang” gave his definition of slang and what the purpose was. It separates the people who use slang and people who do not. In the third chapter it mentions how slang can really sound like poetry because of some rhyming often involved in certain phrases, such as “whatever floats your boat” (Adams 111). It talks about the...
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