Kamis, 31 Desember 2009


A Linguistic Paper


Chapter I


For hundred of year, English has been continuously changing. Words that were unacceptable 300 years ago are now common place. English has always had a trademark of being a comfortable language, the language of the common people (MacNeil 143). Change in the grammar and diction of a language is natural, and English is always with changes. Among them are the use of Slang, clipped word endings and new dialects.

The role of Slang in the language highlight how language changes over time, what is acceptable in different contexts changes, it must be remembered that it is the community of language-users, not a text book, that determines what is acceptable, frequently aspect of language may be in a state of flux and a number of alternatives are acceptable.

Slang develops from the attempt to find fresh and vigorous, colorful, pungent, and humorous expression, and generally either passes into disuse or comes to have a more formal status. Foreign words are common resource for the development of Slang, as regional variation of standard words.

Chapter II


2.1. History of Slang

During the middle ages certain writers such as Chaucer, William Caxton and William of Malmesbury represented the regional differences in the pronunciation and dialects and the different pronunciation represented the first meaning for the term “Slang”

However, our present-day meaning for Slang did not begin forming until the 16 th or 17 th century, the English Criminal Cant Was a new kind of speech used by Criminals and Cheats, meaning it developed mostly in saloons and gambling houses. The English Criminal Cant was at first believed to be foreign, meaning scholars that it originated in Romania or had relationship to French. The English Criminal Cant was slow developing.

In fact, out of the four million people who spoke English, only about ten thousand the English Criminal Cant. By the end of 16th century this new style of speaking was considered to be a language “without reason and order”

During 18th century schoolmasters taught pupils to believe that the English Criminal Cant (which by this time had developed in to Slang) was not the correct usage of English and Slang was considered to be taboo.

However, Slang was beginning to be presented in popular plays. The first appearance of the Slang was in play by Richard Brume’s and later appeared in poem and song by Copland. By the 1700’s the Culture differences in America had begun to influence the English speaking population, and Slang began to expand.

Almost all of the Slang words during thirds time were anatomical and well known all through Britain and in America due to the British Colonist. Furthermore, certain events happened in the 18th century that helped the development of Slang such as, Westward expansion, the civil war and the abolitionist movement.

This was a turning point for Slang it was starting escape the harsh criticism of being associated with Criminals or foreigners it was not until the early 1920’s that Slang gained the interest of popular writers. It was during the post-world war I era that society gained new attitudes about Slang, there was now a demand for entertainment media, and Slangy fiction.

Today, modern American Slang has been shaped and reshaped by the different cultures and the different emergences of technology, which has left our society with varieties of Slang from extreme like street/ Drug Slang to African-American Slang.

2.2. Definition of Slang

1. Webster’s revised unabridged dictionary defines the term Slang as: n

1. Informal language consisting of word and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions; often vulgar; 2. Characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves), Slang is believed to have originated from term used by a certain exclusive group in society.

2. The your dictionary web site

Slang as” highly informal speech that is outside conventional or standard usage and consist both of coined words and phrases and of new of extended meaning attached to established terms: Slang develop from the attempt to fine fresh and vigorous, colorful, pungent, or humorous expression, and generally either passes into disuse or comes to have amore formal status”

3. Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia

Slang can be described as informal, nonstandard words or phrases (lexical innovation) which tend to originate in subcultures within a society.

4. Dictionary Com

“Slang occurs chiefly in a casual and playful speech, made up typically of short-lived Coinages and figures of speech that are deliberates used in place of standard term for added raciness, humor, irreverence, or other effect.”

5. The historical dictionary of American Slang

“Slang is lexical innovation within a particular culture context.”

2.3.The reason why people use Slang

Because most people are individuals who desire uniqueness, it stands to reason that Slang has been in existence for as long as language has been in existence.

“According to the British lexicographer, Eric partridge (1894-1979), people use Slang for any of at least 15 reasons.

1. In sheer high spirits, by the young in heart as well as by the Young in years: just for the fun of the thing; in playfulness or waggishness”

[I think, Slang can exist because the young makes a joke with their friends and accidentally they say something that fun or playful and then that word continually from one to the other]

2. As an exercise either in wit and ingenuity or in humorous.(the motive behind this is usually self-display or snobbishness, emulation or responsiveness, delight in virtuosity)

[in my opinion about this statement, in comedy film, comedy drama sometime the actor or actress creates or say new words to make his/her performance is very good or humor, but new word that they created according to their cleverness so that they can show their performance perfectly and the audiences will evaluate it]

3. To be different–to be novel

[I very agree with this statement because we won’t equivalent with people generally, we have different idea for express our selves]

4. To be picturesque (either positively oras in the wish to avoid insipiditynegatively)

[I think, because sometimes Slang is used for expression which have relation with Drug, sex, crime so with Slang, everything will manage and reduce the negative]

5. To be unmistakably arresting, even startling.

[In my opinion, indeed Slang is very interesting even we can imagine before that word and its meaning].

6. To escape from clich├ęs or to be brief and concise. (Actuated by impatience with existing terms)

[I think, language always changes over the time, new word make fresh and not boring. The word which concise I think it usual matter in the languages and it make more interesting]

7. To enrich the language. (This deliberateness is rare save among the well-educated, cockneys forming the most notable exception; it is literary rather than spontaneous).

[I think, with study other language we can understand that language and add our varieties of language according to the philosopher Wittgenstein in 1921, Said that “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” so, it’s better to expand our language]

8. To lend on air solidity, concreteness, to the abstract: of earthiness to the idealistic, of immediacy and appositeness to the remote, (in the cultured the effort is usually premeditated, while in the uncultured it is almost always unconscious when it is not rather subconscious)

[I think, if the function of Slang can change from the concreteness to the function of Slang closely with an idiom]

9 a. To lesson the Slang of, or on the other hand to give additional point to, a refusal, a rejection, a recantation.

[In my opinion, Slang has sharpen word for those who that fell it or the word which content of phrases or words for some goal e.g. refusal]

9 b.To reduce, perhaps also to disperse, the solemnity, the pomposity, the excessive seriousness of a conversation (or of piece of writing)

[I think, the goal of Slang avoid boring which just some one who use permanent or standard language, to be intimate between speaker or in writing we can add Slang for the flavor of writing e.g. in poetry because Shakespeare do it too]

9 c.To soften the tragedy, to lighten or to ‘prettify’ the inevitability of death or madness, or to mask the ugliness or the pity of profound turpitude(e.g. treachery, ingratitude) and or thus to enable the speaker or his auditor or both to endure, to ‘carry on’, [ I think Slang is very is very completely enough, for just for fun to the appreciate other person, it’s not always vulgar]

10. To speak or to write down to an inferior, or to amuse a superior public or merely to be on a colloquial level with either one’s audience or one subject matter.

[I think if we know Slang we use Slang e.g. for Black Children because Back Children only speak the way they speak an we can show that Slang is very interesting to the conservatives because conservatives rebel the Slang]

11. For use of social intercourse, (not to be confused or merged with the preceding)

[For this thing we can be invented where we come to the one of area, and they are very welcome to us because we are part of them]

12. To induce either friendliness or intimacy of a deep or a durable kind, (same remark)

[I think Slang can useful for those who use it, and add our relationship a among friends and other]

13. To show that one belongs to a certain school, trade, or profession, artistic or intellectual set or social class: in brief, to be ‘in the swim’ or to establish contact.

[I think Slang use by specific people, different people use different term for their community although there are popular Slang that can use together and with Slang we know the development of language use by people in the world]

14. Hence to show or to prove that some one is not ‘in the swim’

[I very agree with this statement, indeed, Slang can useful for those who always follow the dynamic of new language and always up to date in new style of language]

15. To be street–not understood by hose around one.(children, students, lovers, members of political secret societies, and criminal in or to prison, innocent person in prison, are the chief exponents)

[I think this has function to avoid what we say can be known by some one , so our secret just for our selves or our relatives, but, it can be danger for some one that want to do the criminal action]

2.4. Who use Slang

Since a number of Slang terms make reference to sex, violence, drugs, crime, mafia members, thieves, liars, and cheats have used Slang to their advantage. They also share a commonality within taste of music, fashion, and other forms of entertainment. The use of Slang is often seen by many people as an indicator of the speaker’s lower status. Slang used by particular ethnic groups is also frequently looked down upon, although it should be noted that use of Slang in very speech bears no relationship to the speaker’s intelligence.

Slang should be avoided in most types writing, especially academic research paper and essay, screenwriters and novelists some time use certain expression to add a touch of their characters personality to specific bits of dialogue, but this tactic can backfire if the Slang is obscure and thus unfamiliar to the reader.

Some example of Slang that people use in their group or subgroups and for many advantages and for their reason and just for the fun:

1. in sex

Queen ——— a homosexual man (Orig Us)

Hooker ——— a male prostitute or some one who is behaving like a prostitute (Orig us)

2. In drugs or drugs-dealer

- Grass or pot ——— a kind of drugs exactly ‘Cannabis Sativa’

- Disco-biscuite ——— ecstasy tablets (Orig British)

3. In Fashion

- Bathers ——— Swimming Costume (Orig Aust)

- Daks ——— Trousers (Orig Aust)

- Tony Blairs or Tonys ——— Flared Trousers (Orig British)

4. In crime

- Trashed ——— to be very drunk or to completely destroy someone’s property

- A police officer may hear of ”a fellow Johnson Brother knocking over a fat cat”, but if he does not know what any of this means, what crime is he supposed to be on the lookout for ? This type of evasive action is a very effective way of masking wrong doing.

Chapter III


Slang can be a very useful resource for any one interested in learning more about how language continuous. Actually Slang not really new, Slang appears during the middle Ages .Then developed in the 16th century with known as the English Criminal Cant. The English Criminal Cant was anew kind of speech used by Criminals and cheats, certain event happened in the 18th century that helped the development of Slang such as, west ward expansion, the civil war and the abolitionist movement and then during slave and slavery era. Until in modern American Slang has been shaped and reshaped by the different cultures and the emergences of technology. Slang can be described as informal, nonstandard words or phrases (lexical innovations) which tend to originate in subcultures within a society. People use Slang in many reason, for example just for the fun or thing to be different, to show that some belong to certain groups, and follow the trend etc, but Slang bears no relationship to the speaker’s intelligence Slang identically with crime, violence, drugs and mafia members has used Slang to their advantage.

Whatever the reason, this paper doesn’t try influence the reader to use Slang in wrong way, this paper excepted as add our knowledge and insight. May this paper useful for us and hope the better revised for the next paper which has equivalent title.


Mega essays.com

Pollock, John & Emmit, Marie. Language and learning: an introduction for teaching, Oxford University presses Australia, South Melbourne, Australia, 1997.

Your dictionary .Com




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