Essay, Research Paper: Slang Language


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Slang The Declaration of Language [WR122 paper, using Jefferson’s
"Declaration of Independence" as a model]-RJ The Declaration of
Language When, in the course of human language, it becomes necessary for people
to create or redefine, words or phrases to express an object or an action; and
to assume, among society, the acceptance and usage of these words and their
definitions, in one’s own language, or idiolect. A decent respect to the
opinions of mankind, requires that Americans should recognize slang adopted into
language. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that language is expression
of thought, in the form of speech or written symbols, that have agreed-upon
meanings. That, many large speaking languages contain dialects, or other
versions of languages within a community, that are different in some aspects of
grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary. That, because language is a form of
one’s own ideas and expression, everyone possesses his or her own individual
language, or idiolect. That, not only does perception change language, but that
language changes perception. That, through the course of history, idiolects have
shaped dialects, which have shaped language, which in turn, have shaped
concepts. Conservatives, indeed, will dictate that languages will follow a
narrow path toward a standard language. And accordingly, expression will follow
the rules and guidelines that limit thought, rather than the ability to rethink
old vocabulary and enrich new ones. When we speak, write, learn, and think in a
slowly evolving vocabulary, which does not adapt to the more rapid introduction
of cultures, concepts, fashion, and technology, we must add new meaning to
conventional vocabulary. Such has been the language of Conservative American
English speakers and writers, who have discouraged the use of creative language
and the use of dialects and idiolects. Many individuals have not noticed that
new vocabulary is, at many times, adopted into one’s language. A large number
of slang words and phrases have been considered standard in today’s daily
speech. To prove this, let us claim a few of the many slang terms that have been
adopted. Slang has been used, where other words seemed unfit to describe a
thought or feeling: "Awesome." "Radical." "Cool."
"Far Out" New words that were created to describe new technology: A
"cellular" or mobile telephone. The "internet" or the
computer and modem accessed information highway. "Electronic mail" or
computer generated mail. A "beeper" or an electronic paging device.
Metaphors, similes, and creativeness also create slang: A coward is a
"chicken." Money is "bread." A "ride" is a car.
One thousand dollars is a "grand." People eat "grub."
Smoking marijuana is the same thing as smoking "weed" or
"pot." A toilet is the "John." A toilet is the
"can." A toilet is the "hole." A "Cop" is
policeman. A "Pig" is also a policeman. If something is
"bad" it is really "good." Those who are
"plastered" are drunk. Those who are "hammered" are drunk.
People who are driving too close behind another car are "tailgating."
Slang, also evolves in the form of phrases: A person "Kicking Back,"
is relaxing. "Cut to the chase" or get to the point. Accept the
consequences, or "face the music." "Two cents worth," or an
opinion. "The whole nine yards" or everything. In the English
language, we have petitioned for the use of slang in language. But our creative
language has been considered meaningless to conservatives of standard English.
Conservatives, who themselves use vocabulary that was at one time considered
slang, are unfit to argue against it. Every language around the world adopts
slang that, at one point, was considered nonstandard to the majority of the
people. Slang is used to provide new shades of meaning. Slang is shared by
introducing new concepts, just as new objects and ideas are shared. All
vocabulary establishes its meaning through the acceptance of its concept into
one’s language. We must continue to express thoughts through one’s choice of
language, and accept them, as we would accept the importance of originality and
creativity within individuals. We, therefore, the representatives of a
linguistic society, do, in the Name, and by authority of speakers and writers of
English, declare that slang refreshes language with new concepts, ideas, and
interest; that slang allows language to evolve with society; that there are no
determining factors in declaring a "true" language; and, that language
contains vocabulary where its meanings are changed and new ones are introduced.
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