Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slang: the dark side of the force?

There are two quick snippets of articles here about slang which show how it's viewed on one hand as light, frothy and fun, and on the other hand seen as a darker marker of criminal behaviour and gang affiliation.

In the first article, on a BBC News School Report webpage, regional variation in slang usage is looked at and different words for "attractive" and "good" discussed. They quote the linguist Paul Kerswill, one of the key researchers into multi-ethnic youth dialect/ multicultural London English and mention a quick unscientific slang survey that they carried out.

In the second article, from The Daily Telegraph, slang use is one of many different behaviours flagged up as a sign that young people might be getting involved with gangs.