Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slang: evil or nice?

Let's follow up the recent stories about Emma Thompson's views on slang with a quick poll. What's your view on the slang debate?

Does it make young people sound stupid, like Emma Thompson suggests?
Is it a normal part of language that we should accept and celebrate?
Is it only stupid when used by 40 year-old English Language teachers trying to like bond with da yoot dem, ya get me?

You can vote to the right of this post*.

Edited to add: The Observer has a debate on this very issue in today's paper. Have a look here.

*Calls cost 20 Czech Kroner and lines close at 8am. Calls after this time will not be counted towards the vote and you will be charged. Double.


Becky S said...

To be fair, I think she was saying it's ok to use slang when chatting with your mates, but you sound a bit stupid if you're using it in an inappropriate context. I think that's an ok viewpoint to take: ther's nothing wrong with using slang in general, but people should be encouraged to think about the situation they're in and choose their language accordingly.

Dan said...

I'm not sure...

I got the impression she just didn't like the use of innit, like and off of in any situation.

Robert B said...

I agree with Dan. I think she was hiding behind the (perfectly sensible) idea that we need two languages, because she has the same sorts of prejudices as so many other people. I may be being dreadfully unfair, but that's the impression I get. More here:

Stephen said...

I've just looked at the results of the poll which seem to suggest that it's quite a divisive issue even here, seeing as there's only a difference of three people between the "Yes" and "No" options...


Ant said...

This comment is from Sam, one of my students, who cannot comment himself because '' is blocked at our school [sighs and digs fingernails deeply into palms]:

"However Stephen the fourth option on this poll is 'What you chatting about bruv?' which lets face it people are going to vote that over giving a serious answer because its funny :L Made me laugh when I read it and I almost voted for it! So I think the gap would be wider if the 6 people who voted for that weren't given the option."

Dan said...

This is indeed true, Sam. And if it made you laugh then my work here is done and I can leave this planet you call "Earth".

The poll had the NO vote clearly ahead for quite a few days and it only narrowed near the deadline. I suspect vote-rigging by the Queen's English Society.

And as for being banned at school - that sucks a big one!

Sam said...

I wish you luck on your journey Dan :-) lol
I do wish this poll would have kicked off and had more votes, i think getting a more representitive sample would have produced better results.

Plus more people, more discussion, id love to hear the opinions of people from different regions. I think regional cariation on this issue is BIG!

Queen's English Society! The b*****ds!

And well lets hope lots of pestering will hopefully sllow me to get more access. :-)

Dan said...

You're right: a larger sample would have made it more interesting, as would having some sort of information about the age, region and attitudes of each respondent. I think something like Survey Monkey is good for collecting this kind of detail. Maybe it would make a good project for an investigation.

We've had quite a lot of students do slang investigations before and they've been interesting.

Sam said...

Hmm Survey Monkey...not heard of that might give that a butchers, gracias :)

Yeah I'm trying to narrow down what I would like to do. Something on slang would be interesting and something I would enjoy investigating but I'm also looking at something more phonological- maybe accent and dialect?

Who knows?

Im also reading a book my Auntie has lent me on the Neuro Linguistic Profile/Programme. So I have lots of decisions to make me thinks :)

Stephen said...

Also, if you do gather statistical data check out "Many Eyes", a website that gives you some interesting ways of presenting statistical data sets.

Haven't used it myself but could prove useful...?