Everyone is a part of a group that seems to be a little different than the rest. It’s as if one were an outcast to the world, subjected to awkward looked, secret whispers, and unnecessary drama. I seem to be a part of that group everyone sees so different. It’s the way we carry ourselves in public, or the way we dress. However, it always seemed to be the way we talked to each other. People never could understand the things we did and to top it all off, people could barely understand what we said in general.
Honesty, for that mere reason alone, I believe that those who speak slang like I do will always feel a sense of looking down upon by our surrounding community as we try to just be ourselves and have a true sense of free speech and entitlement. Slang is the unconventional usage of words and phrases that express something new, or something old in a new and more modern/young way. Slang is usually thought of to be foul, loud, disrespectful, and for better words lower class. However, in reality it is said that slang can be colorful, full of metaphors which are generally directed with respect and gives character to sentences when spoken.
Apparently the first documented origin of the word slang and slang being used originates back to the 1800’s. it was ironic that we would be looked at different, since slang has been a part of our culture and language as far as we can remember and even find on paper. The way the majority of teens and young adults communicate now days is a whole different dimension then from when our parents were teens and spoke. Devices such as texting and facebook and all other social networks can be the root of ninety-nine percent of slang usage in our country.
The words we use to explain or describe a specific object, or explain a moment is by words that sometimes do not make sense. One example is “that’s ill” simply meaning that’s cool. You would think since the world ill is in a statement like that that it would be bad, but no we make good out of the bad making things positive and using them in a creative flavorful way. I love the way I speak to my friends it gives use a simplified way to make long conversations short/ boring stories can be made interesting just by how we talk.
The down side of it is many people look at us as if we’re not intelligent just because we choose to speak freely then to be constricted to speaking proper grammar all the time to have some sense of self empowerment. UNCW professor Maurice Martinez feels that “Black English” the class he teaches is a important aspect for students to learn about to learn how to communicate with people who speak slang in their everyday jargon. However, fellow professor Mike Adams feels that “Black English” is condescending to African Americans (www. wect. com).
This attempt for a professor to reach out to other kinds of people can be seen as both helpful and disrespectful. Disrespectful because why does it have to be called “Black” English? As if African Americans are the only kind of people to speak slang, somewhat of a typical stereotype. The only thing that makes this class seem helpful is because of its attempt to want to make everyone feel connected in some way. Slang will be around whether everyone wants it around or not. Carl Sandburg was once quoted saying, “slang is language which takes off its coat, spits on its hands and goes to work. Meaning that we talked with no rules no care it’s free and gritty and if you can take it your fine. There’s no boundary on what we want to say. With the help of slang we are able to express ourselves in a way that we can’t normally do around those “stuck-up people” who call slang idiotic. Ironically, those who hate slang the most began to realize it has began to creep into everyday English literature, regardless of the fact that schools are against use of slang. However during the 1920’s, Mark Twain had complained that any writer could use slang freely.
He was right when it came to the logic of the growth of slang. Since then, slang is socially acceptable because of the fact when used properly it adds an exciting dimension to language. Funny thing is, those linguists who felt so strongly against it now spend time studying it to seek how culture produces it and uses it. How can society shun us, when everyone else wants to study us? It seems to be the more people see us differently and find us as outcast; everyone is still fascinated with our lingo.