Friday, March 21, 2014

Old goths never die: they just fade to grey.

Punks in 1983: probably teaching you English in 2014
Youth culture, and the various sub-cultures that it spawns, has been a hugely productive area of new language for several decades. We've had teddy boys, mods, rockers, hippies, grungers, emos, ravers, nu-ravers (and cheesy quavers), shoegazers, indie kids, grebos, psychobillies, punks, skinheads, redskins, post-punks and goths, among many others. And that's before you start factoring in those which have come from the USA and Jamaica (gangstas, rude boys, natty dreads and even backpack hiphoppers).

Each movement has had its own associated look, musical style and even language terminology - as you'd probably expect from any community of practice - and an article by the excellent Alexis Petridis in today's Guardian* tells us all about relatively recent subcultures and some of the language associated with them.
Sisters of Mercy: none more goth


If you're looking for material to help you with ENGA3 (or ENGB3) Language Change and the influences, processes and reasons for language changing, it's got plenty of examples. From a word formation angle, we've got compounds such as sea punk and haul girl, clippings such as emo and potential eponyms-in-the-making, Molly Soda. And from the angle of social change and technology driving language, there's lots to talk about in terms of the power of web-based media and different forms of prestige and influence.


*Thanks to Sally F for link


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