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НазваNon-literary vocabulary (slang)
РозділРізне, реферати, курсові з різних напрямків
ФорматWord Doc
Тип документуРеферат
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«Non-literary vocabulary (slang)»




Defining slang


Extent and origins of slang


Distinction between slang and colloquialisms




1. Defining slang


Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not

considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language.


Few linguists have endeavored to clearly define what constitutes

slang.[1] Attempting to remedy this, Bethany K. Dumas and Jonathan

Lighter argue that an expression should be considered "true slang" if it

meets at least two of the following criteria:


It lowers, if temporarily, "the dignity of formal or serious speech or

writing"; in other words, it is likely to be seen in such contexts as a

"glaring misuse of register."


Its use implies that the user is familiar with whatever is referred to,

or with a group of people that are familiar with it and use the term.


"It is a taboo term in ordinary discourse with people of a higher social

status or greater responsibility."


It replaces "a well known conventional synonym." This is done primarily

to avoid "the discomfort caused by the conventional item [or by] further



An example would be "getting a pop meaning getting a haircut, or buying

threads as in buying clothes"."[1]


Slang should be distinguished from jargon, which is the technical

vocabulary of a particular profession. Jargon, like many examples of

slang, may on occasion be used to exclude non-group members from the

conversation, but in general has the function of allowing its users to

talk precisely about technical issues in a given field.


Slang may be used in a variaty of ways including insults, compliments,

and just another way of expressing one's self.


2. Extent and origins of slang


Slang is sometimes regional in that it is used only in a particular

territory, such as California, but slang terms are frequently particular

to a certain subculture, such as musicians. Nevertheless, slang

expressions can spread outside their original areas to become commonly

used, like "cool" and "jive". While some words eventually lose their

status as slang, others continue to be considered as such by most

speakers. When slang spreads beyond the group or subculture that

originally uses it, its original users often replace it with other,

less-recognized terms to maintain group identity. One use of slang is to

circumvent social taboos, as mainstream language tends to shy away from

evoking certain realities. For this reason, slang vocabularies are

particularly rich in certain domains, such as violence, crime, drugs,

and sex. Alternatively, slang can grow out of mere familiarity with the

things described. Among Californian wine connoisseurs, for example,

Cabernet Sauvignon is often known as "Cab Sav", Chardonnay as "Chard"

and so on; this means that naming the different wines expends less

superfluous effort.


Even within a single language community, slang tends to vary widely

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