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Українські реферати та твори » Иностранный язык » British slang

Реферат British slang

Whatis Slang?

Slang can bedescribed as informal, nonstandard words or phrases (lexical innovations) whichtend to originate in subcultures within a society. Slang often suggests thatthe person utilizing the words or phrases is familiar with the hearer's groupor subgroup-it can be considered a distinguishing factor of in-group identity. MicrosoftEncarta states: "slang expressions often embody attitudes and values ​​of groupmembers. "In order for an expression to become slang, it must be widelyaccepted and adopted by members of the subculture or group. Slang has nosocietal boundaries or limitations as it can exist in all cultures and classesof society as well as in all languages.

Slangexpressions are created in basically the same way as standard speech. As statedin Microsoft Encarta, "expressions may take form as metaphors, similes,and other figures of speech. "In addition, it is noted that the words usedas slang may be new coinages, existing words may acquire new meanings, narrowmeanings of words may become generalized, words may be abbreviated, etc. However,in order for the expression to survive, it must be widely adopted by the groupwho uses it. Slang is a way in which languages ​​change and are renewed.

British slangis English language slang used in Great Britain. While some slang words andphrases are used throughout all of Britain (eg knackered, meaning"Exhausted"), others are restricted to smaller regions. [1] London hasits own varieties of slang, one of the most well-known of which is Cockneyrhyming slang.

Varietiesof British slang

1. Rhymingslang

Rhyming slang,chiefly associated with Cockney # Cockney speech spoken in the East End of London,replaces a word with a phrase which rhymes with the word, for example, platesof meat for "feet", or twist and twirl for "girl". Oftenonly the first word is used, so plates and twist by themselves become thecolloquialisms for "feet" and "girl".

2. Back slang

Back slang issimply the practice of using words spelled in reverse, eg yob for"Boy" or ecilop for "police".

3. Polari

Polari is avariety of slang used by gay men and lesbians in Britain and the UnitedKingdom, which has a history going back at least a hundred years.

Historyof Slang

Slang was themain reason for the development of prescriptive language in an attempt to slowdown the rate of change in both spoken and written language. Latin and Frenchwere the only two languages ​​that maintained the use of prescriptive language inthe 14th century. It was not until the early 15th century that scholars beganpushing for a standard English language.

During theMiddle Ages, certain writers such as Chaucer, William Caxton, and William ofMalmesbury represented the regional differences in pronunciations and dialects.The different dialects and the different pronunciations represented the firstmeaning for the term "slang."

However, ourpresent-day meaning for slang did not begin forming until the 16th or 17thcentury. The English Criminal Cant developed in the 16th century. The EnglishCriminal Cant was a new kind of speech used by criminals and cheats, meaning itdeveloped mostly in saloons and gambling houses. The English Criminal Cant wasat first believed to be foreign, meaning scholars thought that it had eitheroriginated in Romania or had a relationship to French. The English CriminalCant was slow developing. In fact, out of the four million people who spokeEnglish, only about ten thousand spoke the English Criminal Cant. By the end ofthe 16th century this new style of speaking was considered to be a language"Without reason or order" (Thorne 23). During the 18th century schoolmasterstaught pupils to believe that the English Criminal Cant (which by this time haddeveloped into slang) was not the correct usage of English and slang wasconsidered to be taboo.

Because mostpeople are individuals who desire uniqueness, it stands to reason that slanghas been in existence for as long as language has been in existence. Even so,the question of why slang develops within a language has been hotly debated. Mostagree that the question is still unanswered, or perhaps it has many answers. Regardless,there is no doubt that we can better explain slang's existence by analyzing howand why it exists.

WhyPeople Use Slang?

According tothe British lexicographer, Eric Partridge (1894-1979), people use slang for anyof at least 15 reasons:

1)Insheer high spirits, by the young in heart as well as by the young in years;'Just for the fun of the thing'; in playfulness or waggishness.

2)As anexercise either in wit and ingenuity or in humour. (The motive behind this isusually self-display or snobbishness, emulation or responsiveness, delight invirtuosity).

3)To be'Different', to be novel.

4)To bepicturesque (either positively or - as in the wish to avoid insipidity -negatively).

5)To beunmistakeably arresting, even startling.

6)Toescape from clichГ©s, or to be brief and concise. (Actuated by impatiencewith existing terms.)

7)Toenrich the language. (This deliberateness is rare save among the well-educated,Cockneys forming the most notable exception; it is literary rather thanspontaneous.)

8)Tolend an air of solidity, concreteness, to the abstract; of earthiness to theidealistic; of immediacy and appositeness to the remote. (In the cultured theeffort is usually premeditated, while in the uncultured it is almost alwaysunconscious when it is not rather subconscious.)

9)Tolesson the sting of, or on the other hand to give additional point to, arefusal, a rejection, a recantation;

10)Toreduce, perhaps also to disperse, the solemnity, the pomposity, the excessiveseriousness of a conversation (or of a piece of writing);

11)Tosoften the tragedy, to lighten or to 'prettify' the inevitability of death ormadness, or to mask the ugliness or the pity of profound turpitude (egtreachery, ingratitude); and/or thus to enable the speaker or his auditor orboth to endure, to 'carry on'.

12)Tospeak or write down to an inferior, or to amuse a superior public; or merely tobe on a colloquial level with either one's audience or one's subject matter.

13)Forease of social intercourse. (Not to be confused or merged with the preceding.)

14)Toinduce either friendliness or intimacy of a deep or a durable kind. (Sameremark.)

15)Toshow that one belongs to a certain school, trade, or profession, artistic orintellectual set, or social class; in brief, to be 'in the swim' or toestablish contact.

16)Hence,to show or prove that someone is not 'in the swim'.

17)To besecret - not understood by those around one. (Children, students, lovers,members of political secret societies, and criminals in or out of prison,innocent persons in prison, are the chief exponents.)

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