Defining the Positive and Negative Effects of Slang Usage

Academic Paper, 2013

12 Pages, Grade: 92.00

Abstract or Introduction

Slang is a rather complex subject, similar to the complexity of Biology. I believe there are different levels to slang. I also believe that slang itself can be identified as a second language, depending on who speaks it and where it is spoken. All my life I have spoken slang. I grew up around people who also spoke slang rather frequently. I guess one could argue slang has been a part of my very fabric since I was able to speak and remember.

Growing up I did not understand that I was speaking slang. I had never given any serious thought to the way I spoke or the people around me. I never had to. I did not realize I spoke differently or "wrong" until I was measured up against someone else's speaking, primarily white people. When I was a child I could remember being corrected by my teachers, all of whom spoke slang, but they had the ability to code switch when it was necessary, an ability I had not yet possessed.

It would often make me feel less confident when I was corrected by my teachers for speaking incorrectly, considering the fact that it was done so frequently. I could never understand why I had to adjust my speaking if my teachers understood me perfectly fine. I remember feeling a strong sense of discomfort when I spoke slang among people who did not speak slang.

Trying to adjust was like learning another language and very troubling for me. It often made me question, "What is slang?", "Why can’t I just speak the way I am comfortable?" and "Why is slang so bad if I’m perfectly understood?" All of these questions lead to my exploration of slang and compelled me to do extensive research on the subject matter. I want to understand, "why is slang considered bad in certain settings if the communication is effective?"

Slang has evolved tremendously over the years. There is not any objective defining of slang. Researchers have speculated how useful and useless slang is or has been over the years. It cannot be said that slang was ever meaningless it has been based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.


Defining the Positive and Negative Effects of Slang Usage
The University of Memphis
Communication Research
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Slang, positive effects, negative effects, age, gender, origin, regions, history
Quote paper
Eliza Williams (Author), 2013, Defining the Positive and Negative Effects of Slang Usage, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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