A Conversation for American Slang

general view on american slang

Post 1

tikibobber (Researcher 207777)

Personaly, I think the slang we use in America is a great way to define ourselves as Americans. Stupid and lazy. That's right. I mean, does it really take THAT much more effort to say "you all" rather than "ya'll"? seriosly folks. You can tell alot about people by the way they talk, and Americans do a great job of showing that. Don't get me wrong, I think that the english language has WAY to few words. I think that English is in desperate need of words to describe feelings (the meaning of liff, douglass adams & john llyod) and things like that, but refering to your penis as a tool? How does that help? Is it more comftorble to talk about your penis by accisiating it with a lifeless object to carry out desired tasks? I think that all American slang does is confuse people more than they need to be confused. Americans are lazy, don't make them waste too much thought on figuring out what ya'll saying.

-tikibobber


general view on american slang

Post 2

Researcher 209997

Hello!
I wanted to make a quick comment about your posting saying that English, or more specifically American English, is a lazy language. In fact, if you study English, you will find that we speak a very complex and intricate language. We have components of both Germanic and romantic origins as well as influences from many other parts of the world in our language. We also have one of the largest vocabularies of any language. As for your comment about Americans being lazy in speech, most of us string words together because we are pros at speaking our native tongue. It's not laziness, it expertness. You will find that languages the world over have this phenomenon. We know so well how our own language works that we are able to combine and leave off parts of speech in a way that still makes it interpretable to he listener.
Thanks for sharing your views!
Audrey


general view on american slang

Post 3

Researcher 211859

I have to agree with the "above" post.
Word! "G".


lazy speller?

Post 4

jtsmeep, a.k.a. Researcher 217779

Hey, I'm an American, too. Yes, I use slang. I think everyone does...there's kind of a blurry line between idioms and slang sometimes.

However, I get a little irritated with someone griping about how lazy we are when that someone was too lazy to check the numerous spelling errors in their entry. Slang has an excuse; it's our language evolving and changing via dialects. Bad spelling that is not accepted in this slang has no excuse.


lazy speller?

Post 5

Neith_

>>However, I get a little irritated with someone griping about how lazy we are when that someone was too lazy to check the numerous spelling errors in their entry. Slang has an excuse; it's our language evolving and changing via dialects. Bad spelling that is not accepted in this slang has no excuse.<<

smiley - applause Bad spelling is becoming the norm online, I fear. smiley - evilgrin For those who wish to point out that F. Scott Fitzgerald spelt poorly: When you can write as well as he could, I will overlook your spelling errors. Until then...

One might also point out that it's not that the English language has 'to [sic] few words' that is the 'problem'. It has in excess of 500,000, plus technical jargon, but typical usage reflects an individual vocabulary of 4,000-5,000 words per speaker.




lazy speller?

Post 6

MikeTheC

What sets me off (winds me up for you Brits) is when I am talking to someone and they complain I'm too long-winded, and then when I try to pick more precise words, they complain I use too many "big" words.

I agree that there are many lazy speakers of English here in America, but I would simultaneously argue that they also have a poor educational background and often have no particular ambition in life but to live by means of maintaining the status quo.

I work in a call center and, to tell the truth, quite enjoy speaking to British customers (not that I do all that often), because it seems that, no matter what their station in life or educational background, they have a far better command, on average, of English than even some "well-educated" Americans.

Oh, and yes, it irritates me to no end to see the complete butcher's job done to the English language on a daily basis. Changing a language to improve it is one thing; corrupting it because you're too lazy to learn how to communicate with it properly is quite another matter.

/rant

Mike


lazy speller?

Post 7

ajannjones

The type of slang that changes with time and region is a way to express yourself. It is a way to establish yourself as a certain person. More concrete slang like "y'all" are part of our culture. We are an independent country. We are allowed to talk different from our mother country.

English is a living language. It changes all the time. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a good thing. Americans English isn't alone in this. The British also have slang. Brits, the youth in particular, "butcher" the English language too. Go on Youtube. Check it out.

The way we talk has nothing to do with laziness. Canadians, Australians, New Zealand--they all have slang. The more words in the English language the better.

I understand where you all are coming from. It seems as if we are losing many words and rules of English as more and more slang is being invented. Maybe your right, but we're also gaining words and expressions.

Slang makes the English language a bit more colorful if used correctly . Of course, we should preserve the language in its proper form, but don't forget that evolution is just as important as preservation. smiley - smiley


general view on american slang

Post 8

steviferg

Y'all is not lazy. It is actually a linguistic response to a gap in the present-day English language.

In most other languages, there is a distinct word or grammar form for the second person plural (such as ustedes/vosotros in Spanish). In English, the word "you" is used for second person, both singular and plural. To specify that you are speaking to an entire group, and not just one person in the group, you must add another word. The most acceptable one is, of course, "you all."

But to many people the phrase sounds forced and formal. Different regional and generational dialects have solved that problem by either changing the word attached (such as young people saying "you guys"), doing linguistic acrobatics to avoid the phrase altogether, using "anyone" or "everyone" instead, or inventing a new word or contraction to use for that purpose (y'all, yous or y'uns).

I'm from Missouri, a state on the border of the y'all-using region. But I grew up in an urban area where it was only used by some ethnic groups. So y'all wasn't really part of my linguistic upbringing. But now that I live in an area where y'all is more common, I have no problem using it to get my meaning across.

Have a great day y'all!


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general view on american slang

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