The first thing that needs to be said is the etymological origin of the word “slang”, the same as its definite definition, is on the position of changeability. There are several supposition concerned the origin. In fact slang words and expressions are usually characterized by a high degree of informality, familiarity and the richness of the vocabulary. In addition they are realized by a specific group of people whose members are connected with some particular link, for example territory, age, subculture, and generally are found in the spoken form of the language. As slangs are applied more among a specific group, the definitions of slangs are sometimes an obstacle for the researcher to analyze and translate. I would like highlight that phenomenon in my qualification paper.
As the Slang and non-standard English are often used in informal conversations among close friends and is a more private vocabulary than we would use in professional communications within the business and academic world. Slang as a phenomenon of the English language covers a lot of drawbacks. It is often said that slang it is one-third part of the colloquial speech. There are a lot of disagreements and debates about this phenomenon. It is interestingly enough that the majority of the teachers consider slang as the vulgar part of the language. They stay on position that only the illiterate and uneducated part of the Americans uses slang words during communication. This leads them to the conclusion that there is no reason of studying slang at all. However the ignorance of slang causes a great miscommunication and misunderstandings between students and native speakers. All this gives the sense for asking the following question: “Is it worth studying English for many years in order to understand none of the words of the native speaker?"
It is a well-known fact that life does not stay in the same position. It always develops and changes. And it keeps the language in step with the modern condition of the time. That is why the present work is devoted to this social phenomenon.
In the modern world, slang has become so much a defining trait of so many groups that it is impossible to ignore the impact it has had on western society. The question whether it should be considered a healthful source of vocabulary development or a manifestation of vocabulary decay has been often discussed. "Slang" is a word that many of us usually get used to associate with poor grammar and questionable diction; however what most of us do not catch is how much slang we use in our personal life, we just consider slang as a part of our normal language. Slang has personal characteristics which include gender, race, region, and income differs, among these many other variables, for example reflecting and affecting all societal and socioeconomic stereotypes. Every social group like uses some type of slang and by association, those words and grammar become appropriately of that group, something that defines them in a certain way.
As I mentioned previously today language tends to be changing and no one knows all the reasons why it changes, however it continue to do so as long as people speak them. In a few cases, the changes can be explained. For instance, words are added to a vocabulary to refer to new ideas or objects between speakers of different languages may cause words from one language to enter another language. Another essential reason sounds like language has a propensity to transform from complication to easiness and extent to accuracy. Taking into the consideration the historical facts it can be seen that for hundreds of years, English has been continuously changing. For example if the words that were unacceptable 300 years ago now take a common place in our daily-life. Grammar changing is the natural process, and English is always has been confronted with these changes. General slang is mostly words and phrases that have escaped from the myriad subcultures of society and found favor in wider usage. With the development of the society, slang is widely used by more and more people. It is accepted by both upper-classes and lower-classes, and especially college students who tend to use up-to-date words that form a kind of characteristic style of them.
Slang, as a linguistic phenomenon has always been confined to spoken language. It was always difficult to locate, identify, explain and grasp as a unitary phenomenon. It goes without saying that slang forms are widely used among people of all age groups and cultures. Slang is not geographically restricted vocabulary. By using linguistic theories, slang can be analyzed and looked at just like regular everyday language. It is usually used in proper grammatical construction and the structure of the sentence. Slang is innovative, but so is language in general, therefore there is no evidence that it is formed in a special way.
During the whole history periods the slang took an essential position among all countries. It shows the features of contemporary daily life in a unique way. This is true because they all have had words with varying degrees of social acceptance and popularity. All representatives of society use some slang words and expressions, including the most educated, talented, smart cultivated speakers and writers. For example:
- George Washington used redcoat (British soldier)
- Winston Churchill used booze (liquor)
- Lyndon B. Johnson used cool it (calm down, shut up)
Over a period of time the slang has been the subject of controversial topic for people of different occupations. It is generally known that so many different opinions have been said concerning the nature of the slang, its boundaries and the attitude that should be adopted towards it. In the modern time, we cannot ignore the fact that if one is not familiar with slang, he or she could not deeply understand the slang words or expressions in the movie, TV program or even in their favorite songs, it will get you into an awkward situation and lead to making mistakes during talking with foreigners. The one of the most important rule you have to learn by heard to order to fully understand slang, means that use of words, popularity, and acceptability can change. Words can change in social level, moving in any direction.
Slang as it is said used for many different purposes, but actually it expresses a certain emotional attitude; you should remember that the same term may express completely opposed attitudes when it is used by different people. We know that people use slang consciously and unconsciously in the course of ordinary, everyday interaction. Actually, slang allows speakers the freedom to play with and enjoy the language, make words up, adopt new expressions indiscriminately, and use language for humor, irony, sarcasm, and irreverence. Also slang allows people to name things indirectly and figuratively, especially through metaphor, metonymy, and irony.
Many slang words and expressions are primarily insulting, even they may be equivocal when used in affection. For the same reasons, slang as I mentioned before is an essential part of the life of modern cities, or more correctly today, of modern society in general. By this reason most slang is urban; slang about the city is a special case of it. People may feel various attitudes towards slang. For example they may like or hate it, they may respect of ignore it; however whatever they feel they should not forget about the fact of the slang popularity today. The related idea of "street speech" lays stress on the urban side of popular speech. Analyzing all that has been said it follows that Slang seems to mean everything that is below the standard of usage of present-day English. Much has been said and written about it. This is probably due to the uncertainty of the concept itself. Unfortunately, no one has yet given a more or less clear definition of the term.