Slang: the Social Dialect

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As defined by wikipedia, “Slang is the continual and ever-changing use and definition of words in informal conversation, often using references as a means of comparison or showing likeness.” The expressions of slang often embody the attitudes and values of the group members using them. In order for an expression to become slang, it must be widely accepted and adopted by the sub-culture and its boundaries. Some modern slang has endured over the decades since its inception (i.e. cool) and some will only last a few years before being rendered obsolete or outdated (i.e. bling bling). Slang can be born from any number of situations or ideas (the word slang itself has come to represent selling, especially of illegal drugs), and can be blunt or riddled with metaphors, and are often quite profound.

People use slang, because they desire and crave the need for uniqueness and individuality. Slang is an effective and safe way to rebel against the establishment. It’s safe to say that slang has been in existence for as long as language has been in existence itself. Slang incorporates, or borrows words from other languages of cultures and includes them within their own vocabulary, and sometimes even become part of the standard language. Whereas slang was once considered as the lowest form of communication, many now consider slang to be an intelligent and insightful variation to the blandness of the standard language. For some, it is enough that Shakespeare often used slang. From being an uneducated man’s Ebonics, has now turned to a respectable and “hip” art form.

Others, however, condemn the use of slang, believing that it undermines the standard language and reflects poorly upon its users. The use of slang is frequently ridiculed by culturally-ignorant people who feel it is the product of insufficient education and believes it to be counter-evolutionary; of course, they couldn't be farther from the truth. Human language has been in a state of constant reinvention for...
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