The swift changes of human society made a great influence on the facilities of expressing your thoughts, ideas, and feelings — language. The modern way of living goes so fast and new requirements are also reflected in the development of language in a form of various new words and expressions. According with it we can notice a rapid growth in vocabulary system which can lead to the enrichment of the language terminology system. All these force the language to keep pace with modern standard of human life.
Today we may surely declare that English is an international language. According to statistic research, there are 53 countries that use English as an official language and there are 1.8 million people who speak English around the world. English has always had a stamp of being a comfortable and unrestricted language, the language of the common people of all age-groups. Change in the grammar and diction of a language is, and English is always confronted with changes. Among them are the use of slang, jargon, idioms and new dialects. For example,
“Boston rain” means really heavy, pouring rain.
- E.g. I got caught in that Boston rain last night; think I've got pneumonia now.
Therefore, there is no denying that ability of using English language in a best way is precondition to one’s career and self-development. Of course, there are many ways aimed on improving your skills in using English language, but you also can do it by means of self-study at home. Examples include listening to western music, watching English movies or channels and reading books. In a movie, one is able to learn aspects of knowledge related to English language, especially everyday English.
Everyday English mostly consists of non-standard or informal features of the language. Non-standard English refers to any English that is considered outside the mainstream. There are two meanings for non-standard: first, dialects and second is slang. Slang is also considered as non-standard English language. “In fiction non-standard forms are mostly found in dialogue and they are used as a powerful tool to reveal character traits or social and regional differences.” Trudgill explains that non-standard varieties of language are often associated with groups lower on the socio-economic scale and that working class accents may have connotations of masculinity. However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be used. In fact, the vast majority of the English language which we use in everyday life would certainly have been considered as non-standard language. Having analyzed various information sources I found out that different immigrants from diverse places such as West Indians, Indians and Bangladeshi have created multicultural English, which is not only spoken by United Kingdom immigrants but also by those who live in United Kingdom — residents. They have had a large influence on non-standard speakers. For example, slang which was mostly adopted in the United States of America, England and other English speaking countries. Non-standard language performs two basic aims: to communicate information about the speaker and to establish social relationships with other people.
Informal sentence is another criterion of everyday English which sometimes gets our students into an awkward situation. Therefore, an informal aspect of English language may not be commonly known among the students of foreign languages institutes. Learning English by using various methods that I mentioned before is the best way of understanding, perception and improving your ability in English skills. Generally, Non-standard English language contains of:
So, having analyzed with the common aspects of forming non-standard English language let me explain in a short form some general features which are included
in a non-standard language.
As we know, there are some phrasal expressions in English language, which native speakers can use all the time. We call these expressions “idioms”, phrases referring to metaphorical meaning — the meaning is not able to translate individually. “Idioms” are some kinds of phrasal expression in the English language which can’t be translated in the literal meaning. It means that you are not able to check the meaning of idioms by looking up words a dictionary. In contrary, the meaning of idioms is usually based on the metaphorical sense. For the most part idioms tend to be used more in informal speech by giving the strong and clear meaning during the conversation. For instance, it isn’t easy to guess the meanings of the idiom “lose face”, but seeing in the context will help you to understand it:
- He could lose face if other people see that he got everything wrong. (Lose face- be less respected or look stupid because of something you have done.)
Not all idioms are so difficult to guess. Many phrases that are easier to understand are still listed as idioms in dictionaries because they have a fixed form which you need to know and learn. For example:
- I ring my mother every day without fail. (“Without fail” — always)
Here are the following types of the “Idioms”:
Due to traditional idioms’ structure, many of these phrases are almost full sentences. These expressions include “turn a blind eye to something” and “throw
the baby out with the bathwater”.
Idioms in which actions stand for emotions or feelings
A large number of verbal expressions are actions representing feelings and emotions of speakers to target people. The actions in idioms may not really happen, but refer to metaphorical meaning. For instance, the idiom “throw up one’s hands or arm” as in the sentence I threw up my hands when I heard how much money he earned. The action in these idioms is not performed. In contrast, it is likely a sign of gladness.
Pairs of words
This type of idioms is pairs of words combined together by using the conjunctions “and” or “or”. Because idioms are fixed expressions, the word order of idioms is always static; the position of each word is unchangeable. You can’t change “touch and go” as “go and touch” or “high and dry” as “dry and high”.
The idioms of this type are usually full sentences. They tend to be applied more through informal speech. For examples, “there’s always a next time”, “Bully for you!”, “Over my dead body!”
Similes and comparisons
Some expressions are used to compare a quality, condition, action with a noun by joining two words with “as” and “like”. The idioms which begin with “as” can be seen in “as blind as a bet”, “as large as life”.
A dictionary of English Phrasal verbs and their Idioms by Tom McArthur describes that combinations of simple verbs and members of a set of particles, adverbs or prepositions are considered as “Phrasal Verbs”. The function of this kind of expressions is the same as verbs.
Idioms — some interesting histories
Be over the moon — In early use, the idiom was to ‘jump’ over the moon. It spread because of its use in the children’ nursery rhyme (poem):
Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
It means, be extremely happy about something.
Show somebody the ropes — In the past, sailing ships had many ropes of different kinds, and sailors had to learn how to handle them. If someone shows you the ropes, they teach you a skill or show you how something is done.
Start from scratch — The origin of this phrase is to do with sport. People used to scratch a line on the ground as the starting point of a race, or to show where boxers had to stand at the beginning of a match. It now means to start something again from the beginning, probably because the previous work you did on it was no use.