Essay on Language as Connectivity in a Group

1100 Words5 Pages
Language is a crucial part of how people in a group show their solidarity to each other. Discuss Through the use of language, each member of a group is able to construct and reflect their identity. Through the language features present in slang and jargon, users are able to communicate their social identity and group belonging. They are also able to portray their cultural heritage and background through ethnolect varieties of English. Language plays a crucial part in enabling the speaker to communicate belonging to a specific social group, reinforcing solidarity. The use of slang enables the speaker to reinforce group membership and belonging. Slang is often ephemeral in nature; it constantly evolves to suit each generation of users.…show more content…
Slang can also contain borrowings from other languages, allowing the user to appear knowledgeable and cool, such as “nada” from Spanish or “ciao” from Italian. The use of slang enables members of a group to bond over shared or common interests. Its somewhat exclusive nature enables users to define boundaries between speakers that do and do not belong to the group, thus reflecting solidarity towards group members. Similarly, jargon enables its users to reinforce and communicate group solidarity. Jargon is a specific lexicon related to an area or field of interests such as cars, food, or medicine. As a result, it can be used exclusively between members against an audience that does not share the same knowledge or interests as the group, defining group membership and belonging. The frequent use of abbreviations such as “CVA” (cerebrovascular accident) or “CPU” (central processing unit) enable group members to communicate efficiently without having to spell out or explain the meaning of the phrase each time it is used. Acronyms such as “ASIS” (Australian secret intelligence service) and “Wifi” (wireless fidelity) enable effective communication, also saving time during spoken or written discourse. Phrases of Latinate background and origin are also common to jargon, as with “De Facto”, “Quid Pro Quo” and “Pro Bono” from legal jargon. Their use enables the speaker to appear impressive and knowledgeable.
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