Informal Language in the American English

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 304
  • Published : June 18, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Ever go jogging in a business suit or in the busy jaw crusher plant? What about going to a job interview in pajamas? Dressing appropriately is a lot like using a foreign language in the right way. It all depends on the situation. People in America use formal English for making speeches and writing business letters. But they prefer informal language when they talk to friends. Americans are fairly laid-back, both in styles of dress and in language. So to understand their culture, it pays to know something about informal language-in other words, English in blue jeans and a T-shirt. English, like every language, is always changing. New slang terms are created all the time. Often they're here today, gone tomorrow. For instance, if you wanted to call something exciting in the 1960s, you would say it was groovy or far out. Today you might describe it as cool or even bad. Each sub-group of American society-from teenagers to soldiers to thieves to ethnic groups-has its own slang. People who aren't a part of the "in-group" can't understand the meaning, even though the words are "English." So it's not easy for outsiders to use slang correctly. Like many languages, American English has numerous idioms that paint word pictures. These colorful expressions come from everyday life and add spice to language. When Americans want to make a good first impression on someone, they try to put their best foot forward. That way, they won't get off on the wrong foot in their relationship. Learning about idioms in a language and culture can be difficult, but don't get cold feet. Just be careful when using these expressions. Otherwise, you might put your foot in your mouth. There's one type of informal language that you should avoid using, however. Swearwords offend many people in America. Sometimes people say "four-letter words" to express anger or pain. Many of these "curse words" are terms from the Bible that people have misused. For example, to damn means to punish forever in Hell, so...
tracking img