[Essay] How much do English people use slang nowadays?

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Psiconaut

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Hello guys,

I'm actually doing a PhD about the use of Slang in society (I'm focused on United Kingdom at the moment). I've been looking for articles and books about slang, when it was created, how did it make it through the time as we know it nowadays. My sources have been Eric database and Google docs basically, and I would like to ask you for some good references to look at as I'm doing my thesis framework at the moment and I've been checking this website for a year or so and I thought I should as for further information.

Furthermore, I would like to ask you to spend a minute filling my little survey (10 questions yes/no) as I'm running a previous research about the extension of the Slang in English speakers and it'd help me to have a general idea about what kind of questions should I put in my final survey. You can follow the following link to fill it.

How much do English people use slang nowadays? Survey

Thank you very much in advance. I've been trying to find good articles about Slang but I've came to a point where lots of my articles make the same references and use the same examples so I'm running out of sources and it's kinda discouraging. If you remember anything, an author or a tittle, I'll try to find it.
 

konungursvia

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I think the key is not when but who, and to whom. Every language has very familiar registers we use in the most informal, comfortable relationships, such as friends and family. A conversation between two 15-year-old classmates, in any era, in any country, will likely yield the same result: non-standard innovations which overturn and mock powerful social orders, break the bonds of taboo and raise a carnival of slang.
 

5jj

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I'm running a previous research about the extension of the Slang in English speakers
I don't really understand what you mean by that. Nor do I understand this question in the survey:

"9. How much do you think 'slang' is extended in United Kingdom?
10%
t.gif
20%"
etc
 

konungursvia

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I think perhaps because informal speech "breaks the rules" of formal speech, many people think of it as exceeding the speed limit, cheating on taxes, or some such social phenomenon -- common, undesirable, but not universal.

Really though, we all use what could fall under the umbrella term "slang" whenever we feel it's appropriate and comfortable to express ourselves in these ways (in the plural, as there are many kinds of informal speech).
 

Psiconaut

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Hi guys, thank you for your answers.

Well, at this point of the research, I can say what is the difference between jargon and slang. That was something really important because I couldn't see the difference at the very beggining. Slang doesn't try to fill the lacks of the language, it tries to "switch" standard words or expressions for new alternatives while jargon focus on new definitions or new fades or points of view of common things (if that makes sense in English).

About where was originated Slang, if I'm not wrong was all related to thieves and prison stuff.

5jj, sorry but I think I asked wrong that question. What I mean with that was: In your opinion, how many people (%) in UK use Slang? The point of the question is to know what people think about how spread is Slang in British society. Do they find a few people using slang? Average amount of people? Tons of people?

Once more, thank you very much for everything. It's quite hard to find good material about slang and it's so importan to know what people think about it.
 

konungursvia

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Ah, you're thinking of thieves' cant. This is a secret "guild" language, and is distinct from slang. I believe everyone uses slang, however.
 

5jj

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5jj, sorry but I think I asked wrong that question. What I mean with that was: In your opinion, how many people (%) in UK use Slang? The point of the question is to know what people think about how widespread is Slang in British society. .
The answer to this depends, of course on precisely what you understand by the word 'slang'. However, I doubt if there are many of us native speakers who do not use non-standard language in some situations. So, I'd go for 99.9%, slightly less than konungursvia's 'all':

Really though, we all use what could fall under the umbrella term "slang" whenever we feel it's appropriate and comfortable to express ourselves in these ways (in the plural, as there are many kinds of informal speech).
 

JustAlilBit

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Some of them use slang every day and some of them don't use slang completely. I'm a native Lithuanian and I use slang as much as possible in my native language every day and I don't write/type correctly. Of coruse I do, but only in school. We are independent =)
 
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jahildebrandt

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As for wanting to know the difference between jargon and slang:

Jargon could be considered a type of slang that one uses on the job, professionally, used to describe aspects of the job. Jargon doesn't need to be shorter than other terms to be used. For example in the US Marines, sneakers are referred to as "go-fasters," beds referred to as "racks," windows as "portholes," etc.

Most people would not know job-specific jargon, whereas most know slang. I.e. jargon is "specialized slang."
 

danus89

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Hi Psiconaut! I'm doing an important essay also about slang, but I cant hardly find any information... could you help me out? where did you find it? I mean relevant information.... all I can find are blogs, and some articles... Thanks so much, I reall y appreciate it!
 

Tdol

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If you're doing an essay and articles are no use, what sort of sources are you looking for?
 

danus89

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If you're doing an essay and articles are no use, what sort of sources are you looking for?

Articles are good, I meant blogs and things like that. I need more "serious sources" if you know what I mean... in the library of my univeristy there are hardly any books about slang...
 

Tdol

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OK- Google Scholar will provide you with access to plenty of academic books and articles- just search for slang or something more specific and get reading.
 
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