For those of you neeky enough to enjoy the study of slang, here’s a whole load of links to articles about it.
First off, there’s a piece about Lilian Baylis school which claims to have banned slang in its classrooms in an attempt to make Standard English the norm for its pupils. The second article includes quotes from Bill Cosby, superannuated African-American “comedian”, bemoaning young black people’s reliance on slang.
It’s an interesting debate: is using slang or other non-standard forms, holding back already marginalised groups in society? Put more bluntly, is “talking black” holding back young black people?
It’s ironic that one of the aspects of what we might lazily term “black culture” (which is about as meaningless as talking about “white culture”) that seems so attractive to many young white people could be the thing that actually keeps black people in a lower social position. The third link looks at young people’s slang more generally but asks a similar question: is it making young people unemployable?
Should we be teaching Standard English in schools and treating it as the *only* acceptable form of classroom discourse?
Another article looks at how young Americans have developed a taste for British slang (or “Brit-speak”, if you will) thanks to the fictional diaries of a 14 year-old. I think I might stick to Adrian Mole...
Finally there’s a link to one of those horrendous test yourself pages where you can check whether you’re a real teen or just a balding 35 year old, clinging desperately to their rapidly disappearing youth … or whatever.
ENA5 Language Varieties (accents, dialects, sociolects)
ENA5 Language Change (prescriptive/descriptive attitudes to language, the Standard English debate)
ENA6 Language Debates