I don't know how many of you read this blog from beyond south London, where our college is based, but it would be handy to have as many of you contribute to this debate as possible, wherever you're from.
Various pieces of research and comment from linguists such as Roger Hewitt in the late 80s/early 90s, Roxy Harris in the 90s and Paul Kerswill, Sue Fox and David Britain this year, seem to be suggesting that there is a new youth dialect emerging in the UK. This dialect is not regionally based, as many have been in the past, but linked to a whole range of other factors: ethnicity, age, identification with a particular way of life or subculture (or "communities of practice" as linguists seem to be calling it now).
According to an article in today's Sunday Times (which, it has to be said, is a pretty badly cobbled together piece) this dialect is spreading far and wide. Read the article and let us know what you think. And more usefully, in weeks to come we'll be running our own research to see how well known certain slang terms are and what they mean to you around the country.
ENA5 - Language Change and Varieties