When is it suitable to use slang and what effect does it have
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 691
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
There are situations in life when it is appropriate to use slang, both the spoken word and when writing. However there are also many situations where it is entirely inappropriate to use slang. Nobody consciously decides to start speaking or writing in slang, indeed there are so many slang words that have permeated Standard English language that we often don’t realise when we are using a slang word when in fact we are.
‘Slang’ as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary means:
‘Very informal words, phrases, or meanings, not regarded as standard and often used by a specific profession, class, etc.’
‘Slang’ is a general term used to describe a number of different language devices falling within the category. Some of these devices are; Jargon, neologisms, blending words like ‘rockumentary’ (a documentary about pop stars) and the widespread use of affixes (i.e. suffixes and prefixes) to change the meanings of words. Also the reapplying and misapplying of words is often very common and to reinvent words or reintroduce them.
The definition of ‘Slang’ states that it is often used by and associated with different classes or groups of people. It is this versatility of slang and its adoption by different groups that will help us to answer the question.
When exploring the suitability of using Slang it is best to look at situations where it is used and decide whether it is appropriate or not. Slang is used seemingly everywhere on the television but there are exceptions. For example, Slang is evident in soap operas and gritty dramas. Coupled with regional accents, the effect of using slang is to make the soap or drama more realistic and therefore believable. Likewise in police and law court-based dramas, jargon or legalese is used to make the programme more believable.
However, some programs will not consciously use Slang such as the BBC News or party political broadcasts for example. But, even in these situations, newsreaders or indeed the Prime Minister may employ a carefully chosen neologism or affix such as ‘Whitewash’ or ‘Watergate’ to get their message across to the public. Nevertheless, the language they use will be Standard English because it is what people expect in such formal situations and any massive slip in using Standard English reduces the credibility of the newsreader or politician.
Slang is inevitable to be in movies and modern plays as it creates realism and is used in most aspects of life today. It is often very rare in this time of day to see a movie or play which does not consist of slang, also in certain movies jargon is often used such as gangster movies or computer movies, this is again used to create realism. But again there are exceptions as slang would not be used in documentaries but jargon could be used. Another occasion where slang often occurs is in music as most music nowadays is full of it especially rap.
Slang is not only used on television but also in the real world as all around us we see slang taking place e.g. when we speak to our peers, on the street in the playground etc. although it is used in most situations it is not always appropriate as you would not use slang in the court of law, an interview or in a speech. Slang is often frowned upon if used in these situations and is very inappropriate, reduces professionalism and credibility.
When slang is written it is often used differently but still has situations in which it is not suitable such as instruction manuals, legislation (though full of jargon), homework etc. It is again frowned upon if used in these situations. Although it is not seen as bad in certain situation but anticipated in places such as texting, e-mail etc.
There are many situations which slang can be used and situations where it cannot but it does often appear in most places without many people even noticing as the word has become so common. But with some words which you feel are suitable others may disagree and be offended which is we it is very imported to use slang in the right situations and be conscious of when you are using it.