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All about College Slang Slang & word-blending: Word-blending is big in campuspeak. “he’s sort of a nerd, but he’s just so adorkable” combines adorable.

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Presentation on theme: "All about College Slang Slang & word-blending: Word-blending is big in campuspeak. “he’s sort of a nerd, but he’s just so adorkable” combines adorable."— Presentation transcript:

1 All about College Slang Slang & word-blending: Word-blending is big in campuspeak. “he’s sort of a nerd, but he’s just so adorkable” combines adorable with dork, the amalgam defined as “endearing though socially inept.” Another blend is fauxhawk, combining faux, “artificial,” and Mohawk, defined as a “hairstyle achieved by combing all of the hair to the center to give the appearance of a Mohawk without shaving the head. Yet another is ginormous, blending gigantic with enormous (seeking to outstrip humongous, itself a dated slang blend of huge and monstrous and/or tremendous). A very new slang term is chillax, from the adjective chill, “easygoing,” and the verb relax, the combo meaning “do nothing in particular,” an activity widely practiced in centers of learning throughout the nation. [Safire 2007] Slang & the media: As Pam Munro, the linguist, says, “Movies still play a role in slang. The major movie that had an impact on this volume [of college slang, from 2001] was ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.’ Austin Powers really popularized the word ‘shag’ in the U.S.. Television remains a popular source. From ‘The Flintstones,’ there’s been ‘betty’—a good-looking female—and ‘barney’—a person who tries to be like someone else. ‘Five-O’ has been a college slang favorite for years, a slang term that means cops, but derived from the show, ‘Hawaii Five-O.’ No matter that ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ is in re-runs or seen only at late night on cable, ‘daisy dukes’ are still used to describe short-shorts worn by the character of that name. [Elie 2001] Slang as shorthand: Slang is also most effective when used among friends because it draws upon common social and emotional experiences to give meaning to the terms, something beyond what a mere dictionary definition can provide. Slang terms can be efficient shorthand ways to express concepts. To say, “That party was da bomb” is more than merely saying it was a very good party. It shares the emotional experience that might otherwise take several sentences to explain. Not only does this make their communication more efficient, but also it reinforces their friendship. Using slang sends the unstated message that we are friends, as kind of relational identity. [Sanders N.D.] Slang and modern tribalism: When slang is used, there is a subtext to the primary message. That subtext speaks to the speaker’s and listeners’ membership in the same “tribe.” Because “tribe” identity is so important, slang as a powerful and graphic manifestation of that identity benefits. At times the primary message is not in the meaning of what is said, but in the very use of slang—a compelling example of how the medium can be the message. [Dalzell 2005] Slang & social reality: “It is not academic concerns that shape undergraduate college culture or college slang——it is human ones. College students put more of their time and youthful spiritedness into figuring out who they are in relationships to others, what they like and dislike, what they can and cannot do, and what they will and will not tolerate than in trying to figure out their textbooks, lectures, and professors” (Eble 2005:7) Slang & verbal art: “With slang, each generation or subculture/counterculture group has the chance to shape and propagate its own lexicon, and in so doing to exercise originality and imagination. The end result is a lively, playful body of language that is at times used for no other reasons than that it is fun to use and identifies the speaker as clever and witty” (Dalzell 2005:1). Slang & subversion: “Fashion and hairstyles are other key manifestations of a generation’s identity, but they can be easily regulated by adult authorities. With music and language, regulation and restriction are much more difficult. Even the most vigilant and repressive attempts by adult authority cannot completely eradicate slang and music with its slang lyrics” (Dalzell 2005) Slang & abbreviations: “Other prevalent slang fads include excessive abbreviations. For example: “I’m late for anth again, I lost my pod and my comp is broken. My g-rents are coming to visit tomor and I really need to clean my room—my poor mate, it’s totally my B. Plus, I have no food. Want to meet me in the Q before din?” [Paper Clip Communications 2007] Reference List Androutsopoulos, Jannis 2005 The Global Spread of American Slang. Electronic document, accessed March 13, Dalzell, Tom 2005 The Power of Slang: The Common Denominator. Electronic document, accessed March 13, Eble, Connie 2005 Slang & Sociability (Excerpt). Electronic document, accessed March 13, Eble, Connie C Slang & Sociability: In-Group Language Among College Students. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Elie, Bryan 2001 College slang covers more than just drinking and sex. Clarkson Integrator, Electronic document, 8/27/NationalNews/College.Slang.Covers.More.Than.Just.Drinking.And.Sex page2.shtml, accessed March 13, Flexner, Stuart Berg 1986 Preface to the Dictionary of American Slang. In New Dictionary of American Slang. Robert L. Chapman, ed.New York: Harper & Row. Hummon, David M College Slang Revisited: Language, Culture, and Undergraduate Life. Journal of Higher Education 65(1): paperClip Communications 2007 Say What? A Glossary of College Slang. Electronic document, aywhatcollegeslang.pdf, accessed March 13, Safire, William 2007 Campuspeak. New York Times, Electronic document, accessed March 12, Sanders, Julie Way Cool FAQs About College Slang. Electronic document, accessed March 13, Slang & Globalization: Vernacular English is powerfully expressive because—paradoxically—it is both exclusive and global. In any host society, American slang lives in a world of linguistic and cultural knowledge not available at school or in mainstream media. American slang lives in the specialized media of the young, such as CED booklets, songs and video clips, magazines and Web sites. Through the media, young people enter fan communities where they learn to incorporate certain forms of English into both their speech and writing to show that they’re part of youth culture. As a result, American slang and related resources have become a global code for youth worldwide embedded in a local code—the national language. When host languages incorporate slang, speakers inflect loan nouns and verbs just like native items and build compounds of English and native nouns. For instance, flipped out comes as ausgeflippt in German, flippato in Italian, flippé in French, and fliparisménos in Greek. [Androutsolpoulos 2005]


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