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vetarnie
how often do people use slang in english ?
Feb 1, 2014 9:29 AM
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If I'm with people I've known well for a very long time, then my chances of using slang are pretty high. If I'm with people I don't know so well, especially if they're from a different place, then I'll switch to standard English. Perhaps I may pick up their slang if they use it. Different countries and regions (as well as social groups) use different slang. If I'm talking with a learner of English, then I probably won't use any slang at all. Some learners try to use "slang" to show how good their English is, but most of the time it sounds funny and out-of-place because using slang all depends on knowing who you are talking to. We don't use slang with just anyone. Does it work the same way when using your own language?
February 1, 2014
how often do people use slang in english ?--Vetarnie Context is everything. For example, slang is virtually never employed in any written work intended for public communication. Popular Songs employ slang. Slang is employed in many situations where speaking occurs. I recommend against attempting to study slang with the intention of employing it in English. What happens is that the student starts asking "when" then can use it and "how" they can use it, as though there were "rules" about how and when it can be used. There are no rules for slang. That is why learning it can lead you to serious trouble. In casual conversation with a person I know, I might greet them, for example, with something like Ebonics or Ghetto Dialect by saying; 'sup dude? .....which is short for "What's up, Dude". But then, I am using a play on words, and the person I speak with would understand that there is an "inside joke". The "inside joke" is that my communication is not sincere, but rather I am mocking the people who actually speak that way, because they represent the most ignorant and uneducated segment of any society.
February 1, 2014
One might think that my observations are extreme; but as a student of both language, life, and culture, I assure you that there is specific evidence of this being demonstrated in modern life. People who begin to rely heavily upon slang become victims of a kind of "Jingoism" in which everything is presumed to be understood, when in fact, nothing is understood. What becomes evident in the frequent use of slang is that the thinking of some persons, is either non-existent or all "jumbled up". Such people lose the ability to communicate in a logically coherent manner, employing "jingoistic" reductionisms when full articulation of thought and feeling are necessary. .
February 1, 2014
Essentially vetarnie, my point is that one gains little or nothing by using slang. You can "sound" familiar to other people, while at the same time, appearing "phony" to nearly everyone. Merely by speaking with and or reading in the language studies you do, you will normally acquire familiarity with common slang. That will happen. Some of it you can actually use. Unfortunately, without knowing the subtle intricacies of an entire culture, you can end up committing a grave insult to other people by employing slang at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and in the wrong manner. Besides which, I can share with you from my own experience in the Italki forums, I have watched foreign students of English ask questions about the meaning of a slang term and when and how it can be used. It becomes so complicated in the explanations that studying the Rules---of---Grammar looks like child's play by comparison. In addition to which, the FREE use of language as an entertainment, can barely be understood by foreign students. I can make up a slang term right here, or cite an odd one, and show you its use in American dialogue and you may well never be able to understand it. You would be left thinking; "...but I don't get it." If I repeated the line from a comedy movie, could you really understand how I would use it? If I said; "Goonga-La--Goonga!" in my normal speech with you, would you know how and when to use that to "fit---in" with the Locals? A person could use so much slang, that all of their communication is cryptic and mysterious, not actually related to English at all. You can see an example of this in the movie "Airplane" the comedy, where one Caucasian woman proposes to translate the "Jive" dialogue spoken by 2 Black passengers.
February 1, 2014
Finally, the use of slang can be associated with a cultural phenomenon in the United States which is associated with a kind of dysfuncationality pertaining to the alienation of people from their own culture, society, country and government. Whether this is specifically a Right or a Wrong cannot be easily determined. (It also becomes a different subject.) However, such prominent persons as the political activist Saul Alinsky wrote in his landmark book, "Rules For Radicals" about people who try to "Do Their Own Thing" which is basically what the implementation of Slang is. Alinsky wrote as follows: ----------------------------------------------------- "In a world where everything is so interrelated that one feels helpless to know where or how to grab hold and act, defeat sets in; for years there have been people who've found society too overwhelming and have withdrawn, concentrated on "doing their own thing." Generally we have put them into mental hopitals and diagnosed them as schizophrenics." ]-----Prologue, page xix, "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky, 1971, Vintage books edition ------------------------------------------------------- The use of slang represents such a "withdrawal" from the objective uses of language. What Alinsky writes about is relevant, because Doing----Your---Own---Thing with language, (which is what Slang represents) can be regarded as a kind of psychological dysfunction. It reflects a kind of "One-----Two---Three---and---You---Are----In" ... mentality, in which all communication is reduced to a few monosyllables (One Syllable Words).
February 1, 2014
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vetarnie
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Japanese, Tibetan
Learning Language
English, French, Japanese