Expressing Teen Identity by Using Slang: Attitudes and Opinions Towards the Slang of Teenagers

4165 Words Nov 14th, 2012 17 Pages
Expressing teen identity by using slang:attitudes and opinions towards the slang of teenagers

Introduction

One of the most significant elements which people notice while meeting with someone is the person’s language. As Trudge (2000:2) points out, the manner in which we use our language has a great importance while “establishing social relationship and while conveying information about the speaker”. Ethnic background, gender, education, social class, age and many other aspects may influence the way we talk. And the way we talk may influence other people’s perception about us. Language in the society also differs in the formality levels. When talking about any specific kind of a language we use the term language variety. The variety of
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During the beginning of the nineteen century slang begins to be seen as a highly colloquial part of almost any language.[3] Moreover as the online Oxford English dictionary demonstrates, the word slang appeared in the connection with the language of youngsters for the very first time in 1818, when Sir J. T. Coleridge was recorded to have stated the following: ”Two of the best [students] come to me as a peculiar grinder (I must have a little slang)”.[4] This connection appeared as well in William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair: “He was too old to listen to the banter of the assistant-surgeon and the slang of the youngsters.”[5] This fact proves that the importance of the adolescent talk has been seen as an important variety of language for a relatively long period.
As well as human language also slang is continuously changing its form and vocabulary and not all of the expressions have to disappear as its generation grew up. On the one hand there are new slang words springing up and on the other hand old ones are dying. This means that the slang expressions used by teenagers may sometimes overlap the barriers of a particular group and become more widely used. Some of the slang expressions may absorb into the English language and become part of Standard English.

Types of slang

As I stated previously it is hard to distinguish slang from other types of informal language. Linguists therefore tend to use different terms when describing…

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