Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Slagging slang

The Mind Your Slanguage programme on Radio 4 today, which SFX students and staff contributed to, has kicked off an interesting debate about slang on the BBC news site today. We've got the usual prescriptive arguments: things were better in my day...these young people are just using broken English...it's all the fault of those black people with their ghetto talk...slang is "contaminating" Standard English...it's lazy and ugly talk... you know the kind of thing. But there are also some more sensible and well-formulated positions, which might also be termed prescriptive too.

Perhaps there is some truth in the argument that language is changing so rapidly now - faster than ever before - that it's too much to cope with for many people. Perhaps too, there's some truth in the claim that young people don't recognise that they're using slang some of the time, and that it's inappropriate in formal settings. But isn't that also the case for older people too and their own slang and idiomatic expressions?

Have a look and see what you make of it all. But remember, this is a great opportunity to be part of a language debate and even intervene in it yourselves. Many of you have already, by being part of the programme, so big up yourselves and that, bang bang etc.

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