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Slang

The Declaration of Language

[WR122 paper, using Jefferson?s "Declaration of Independence" as a model]-RJ

The Declaration of Language

When, in the course of human language, it becomes necessary for people to

create or redefine, words or phrases to express an object or an action; and to assume,

among society, the acceptance and usage of these words and their definitions, in one?s

own language, or idiolect. A decent respect to the opinions of mankind, requires that

Americans should recognize slang adopted into language.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that language is expression of thought,

in the form of speech or written symbols, that have agreed-upon meanings. That, many

large speaking languages contain dialects, or other versions of languages within a

community, that are different in some aspects of grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary.

That, because language is a form of one?s own ideas and expression, everyone possesses

his or her own individual language, or idiolect. That, not only does perception change

language, but that language changes perception. That, through the course of history,

idiolects have shaped dialects, which have shaped language, which in turn, have shaped

concepts. Conservatives, indeed, will dictate that languages will follow a narrow path

toward a standard language. And accordingly, expression will follow the rules and

guidelines that limit thought, rather than the ability to rethink old vocabulary and enrich

new ones. When we speak, write, learn, and think in a slowly evolving vocabulary, which

does not adapt to the more rapid introduction of cultures, concepts, fashion, and

technology, we must add new meaning to conventional vocabulary. Such has been the

language of Conservative American English speakers and writers, who have discouraged

the use of creative language and the use of dialects and idiolects. Many individuals have

not noticed that new vocabulary is, at many times, adopted into one?s language. A large

number of slang words and phrases have been considered standard in today?s daily speech.

To prove this, let us claim a few of the many slang terms that have been adopted.

Slang has been used, where other words seemed unfit to describe a thought or

feeling:

“Awesome.”

“Radical.”

“Cool.”

“Far Out”

New words that were created to describe new technology:

A “cellular” or mobile telephone.

The “internet” or the computer and modem accessed information highway.

“Electronic mail” or computer generated mail.

A “beeper” or an electronic paging device.

Metaphors, similes, and creativeness also create slang:

A coward is a “chicken.”

Money is “bread.”

A “ride” is a car.

One thousand dollars is a “grand.”

People eat “grub.”

Smoking marijuana is the same thing as smoking “weed” or “pot.”

A toilet is the “John.”

A toilet is the “can.”

A toilet is the “hole.”

A “Cop” is policeman.

A “Pig” is also a policeman.

If something is “bad” it is really “good.”

Those who are “plastered” are drunk.

Those who are “hammered” are drunk.

People who are driving too close behind another car are “tailgating.”

Slang, also evolves in the form of phrases:

A person “Kicking Back,” is relaxing.

“Cut to the chase” or get to the point.

Accept the consequences, or “face the music.”

“Two cents worth,” or an opinion.

“The whole nine yards” or everything.

In the English language, we have petitioned for the use of slang in language. But

our creative language has been considered meaningless to conservatives of standard

English. Conservatives, who themselves use vocabulary that was at one time considered

slang, are unfit to argue against it.

Every language around the world adopts slang that, at one point, was considered

nonstandard to the majority of the people. Slang is used to provide new shades of

meaning. Slang is shared by introducing new concepts, just as new objects and ideas are

shared. All vocabulary establishes its meaning through the acceptance of its concept into

one?s language. We must continue to express thoughts through one?s choice of

language, and accept them, as we would accept the importance of originality and creativity

within individuals.

We, therefore, the representatives of a linguistic society, do, in the Name, and by

authority of speakers and writers of English, declare that slang refreshes language with

new concepts, ideas, and interest; that slang allows language to evolve with society; that

there are no determining factors in declaring a “true” language; and, that language contains

vocabulary where its meanings are changed and new ones are introduced.

Put your paper here.


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