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.

10 comments:

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:

http://iamrobertbain.com/index.php/220/emma-thompson-aint-happy/

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 'blogger.com' 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 Blogger.com 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.

http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/

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