Speak Another Slanguage

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Slang is the informal use of words that reflects a specific attitude of a culture. It has been around for what seems like forever and is present in the speech of every language. The English language has evolved greatly over time; the words spoken today are very different from those of previous generations. Today’s generation has developed its own slang unique from that of other time periods. However when modern slang is compared to that of other generations, it is actually not so different.
“The slang itself has changed and the words themselves change but as far as the meanings go, I think [people tend to] just find new words for things,” said history teacher Scott Zyber.
Take the slang from the 1980s as an example. Most may not realize it but slang from other periods still takes effect in everyday speech. Most students’ parents and teachers were teens or young adults during that era and some still use the words or phrases today.
While the slang itself changes, the meaning behind words do not. Older slang can seem strange and even humorous to teens today but slang in the past was used in just the same ways as it is used nowadays.
Methods of spreading slang has changed throughout the years. Whereas modern slang words can easily be spread through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms, the slang of the past varied among different peer groups.
“I think slang [comes from] a group of people or a type of people who have similar vocabulary that may not be clear to people outside that group,” said Zyber.
In the past slang originated from the people’s inability to speak standard language. Today thanks to the internet and social media, just about everyone can find out about a new slang words and catch onto trends. Modern slang now serves a slightly different purpose.
“I think slang is just a shorter way of saying things. Other people think it’s a cooler way of saying things,” said senior Rebecca Salas.
Slang is now popularly used to explain people’s thoughts in a simplified and universal way among adolescents and adults alike. It has also become an important part of popular culture as modern vocabulary changes quicker than ever.
“Slang is basically when you use words or phrases that are unconventional. [It helps you] communicate quicker. You can use it with your friends but not when you’re in school because sometimes I will be writing [an essay] and I’ll use slang on accident and have to erase it,” said sophomore Litzi Araujo.
While many can agree that slang is used to shorten words and sayings, views on slang itself greatly differ. “The 1980s were filled more positive slang [that was] not so negative. [The] world is becoming more sarcastic and mean-spirited,” said science teacher Rolland Fezzey.
Freshman Jake Rangel views it differently. “I think it’s cool. It’s crazy to think [about] how we create new things and how we create trends that are going stick with us for the whole year. If you think about it, ‘YOLO’ and words like that were [relevant] so long ago and some people still use them today. It kind of regenerates – it just comes back,” said Rangel.
The use of language and slang has greatly evolved over the decades and continues to change constantly. The slang people use reflects the culture of their time period and serves a functional yet entertaining purpose in speech.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The official news site of J.W. North High School
Speak Another Slanguage