Influence of Slang Language on English
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Influence of Slang Language on English Abstract The use of slang language is increasing day-by-day. Therefore while discussing with our Sir we came up with a thought that don't we research on something related to slang. And while surfing on the net one webpage catches our attention, with the title “OMG: IM slang is invading everyday English” on Digital cultures site, written by Neda Ulaby, which says that The phenomenon of written IM slang crossing over into speech is manna for linguists. Professor David Crystal, who has written extensively on language and the Internet, observes: "I see a brand new variety of language evolving, invented really by young people... within five years! It's extraordinary." Some acronyms meant to stand as shorthand for one phrase morph into separate words: ROTFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing) has become ROFL, which has become "rawfl," an often droll spoken response to an attempt to be funny. Teens admit that some purists might read the advent of IM slang into speech as a negative development. But linguistics professor Crystal thinks it is an enhancement. Instant message expressions have done more than just added to constructions of the English language and the roughly 200,000 words in common use today. "They extend the range of the language, the expressiveness... the richness of the language," he says.
After reading this we were shocked that how much IM slang have influenced the English of English speakers. Then we came up with the query that how much this slang has affected our society?
Introduction Slang is sometimes creating problems for many people to understand the complete meaning of the speaker. On the other hand slang is helping people to communicate with others easily. A new slang word is being used on the eve of next day. Teachers are complaining about the use of slang words like u instead of you, bcoz instead of because, ur instead of your etc. in the papers, and this thing is deducting the marks of the students. Children are using slang words as coded message as it is not very understandable to the parents.
In English, mostly the speaking language is more casual than the writing language which is more formal and also keeps eyes upon the tenses and grammar, whereas in speaking we do not bother about the grammar and tenses until speaker and listener are able to communicate. But we observed that this slang language is not only informal but also even more contracted that the speaking English. Pakistan is multi-linguistic country where many types of languages are spoken, and in Baluchistan this effect is very prominent. Therefore we want to see that how much this type of environment is affecting the bases of English. These observations invoke us to find the reasons of spreading of slang language? How many people use slang words? Large no. of people are using slang their must be a reason behind it? How many people understand these type of words? How much it is affecting our professional documents?
Research Question After discussing with our teacher we came up with the following research questions:
How many people are using slang words?
Why do people use slang words? What is the reason behind it?
How much slang words are affecting the English of people using it?
Through R.Q.1 we tried to find that how many people are using slang words, and also that the slang words are not confined to one gender, or to one profession. In R.Q.2 we tried to find that why this slang language is getting common in our everyday life. What are the causes behind using this slang language instead of conventional English or any other language. With the help of R.Q.3 we make an effort to analyze the impact of slang on the English of users, that how slang language have helped or hindered them.
Literature Reviews Definition of slang There are many definitions of the word slang but we are concerned these ones. Tong, McIntyre and Silmon (1997) in the journal named “Journal of Correctional Education” describes the word “slang” as shorthand, coded terminology that develops within social groups or when individuals regularly interact in a certain setting or context over a long period of time.
According to the Wikipedia: Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language. Slang is the formulation of words on IM through internet or phones to contract it to the word which is which has the same sound to that of the original one, or sometimes slang is formulated as an acronym (e.g. LOL=Laughing Out Loud, BRB=Be Right back etc.) to shorten some lengthy expression. It also include the emoticon, which are used by sender to express his/her feelings or emotions pertaining to any action or thing.
Slang on SMS SMS language or Textese, is English language slang used in mobile phone SMS, social networks and instant messaging. It is is an abbreviated form of English similar to rebus. With the predictive input increasingly being used, it is becoming less common. This type of language does not always obey or follow standard English grammar; furthermore, the words used in the writing system can't be found in standard dictionaries. (Wikipedia)
Slang on Internet Internet slang is slang that Internet users have popularized and, in many cases, coined. Such terms often originate with the purpose of saving keystrokes, and many people use the same abbreviations in text message and instant messaging. Acronyms, keyboard symbols, and shortened words are often methods of abbreviation in Internet slang. (Wikipedia)
Different views on slang Some people consider the intermingling of slang in Standard English as hazardous to the identity of English whereas some peoples say that the incursion of slang in English is very beneficial for English as it has extended the range of words in English to describe one thing. Laccetti (professor of humanities at Stevens Institute of Technology) and Molsk, in their essay entitled The Lost Art of Writing, are critical of the acronyms, predicting reduced chances of employment for students who use such acronyms, stating that, "Unfortunately for these students, their bosses will not be 'lol' when they read a report that lacks proper punctuation and grammar, has numerous misspellings, various made-up words, and silly acronyms." Fondiller and Neron, in their style manual assert that "professional or business communication should never be careless or poorly constructed" whether one is writing an electronic mail message or an article for
publication, and warn against the use of smiley‟s and these abbreviations, stating that they are "no more than e-mail slang and have no place in business communication". A famous English researcher David Crystal is of the view that the slang words are very useful for English as they are extend the vocabulary greatly. According to his research about 200,000 new slang words are now in use in everyday English. In his opinion only those languages persists for longer period of time which have capability to dissolve words from different languages. But many people disagree this thought that inclusion of slang words will dismantle the basis of English, and it will lost it's identity. According to one poll on internet about 80% – 90% people on internet uses slang words in their messaging and about 45% - 55% of the people use slang language in their cell phone messaging, these both percentages shows that the impact of slang language is great.
Methodology We thought that questionnaire would be the right choice to collect the data about the research questions. Therefore we assembled a questionnaire, and participants mostly students and teachers filled it. The total number of participants who filled the questionnaire were 53. Details about the participants are given in the table1 below.
Table1 shows the participants according to gender.
Gender Male Female Total
Teachers 8 2 10
Students 33 20 43
Both 41 22 53
Table2 shows the participants according to the age groups.
Age Groups Male Female Total
17-19 6 12 18
20-22 17 5 22
23-25 7 2 9
More than 25 3 1 4
We issued the questionnaire to the students and teachers of Baluchistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences BUITEMS. We ask different type of questions in the questionnaire, from different ways to get the right and true opinions of the participants. The questionnaire was only issued to those peoples who have showed their interest in filling this questionnaire. The questionnaire has 15 questions, 14 of those have options which out of which one option have to be selected and one question has a blanks which participant have to fill with his most commonly used slang words.
Analysis We analyzed the data collected from the questionnaire on different bases depending on the type of question. We analyze some observations on the bases of gender some on the profession and some on the bases of the age groups of the participants. We are showing most of our findings in the form of different types of graphs for easy understanding.
Findings We have found that most of the people use slang words if we the percentage of people constantly using slang words and the people using it sometimes add up to 91% of the total participants which shows that slang language is very common.
Graph on the left side below shows the opinions that how many people understand the slang language. This shows that about 72% of the participants understand slang meanings.
The graph on the left shows the means/reasons which are more popularizing the use of slang language. Cell phones and chatting covers the major portion of the graph which is about 81% of the total reasons, which is very extensive. Cell phones itself covers more than 50% of the area.
The above graph shows the opinion of people that how many people use slang words. Graph is accompanied with a table which sows the details. The opinions have showed that peoples mostly use slang words in sms because they want to save time and money. They accumulates to a total of 68% of total. This percentage increase up to 100% for age group of 23-25 years for the participants.
Data shows that most of the people not only have used slang words but also have formulated some new ones. And in reply to the question that will slang language become common in near future most of the people more specifically 71% of the people say yes.
When asked that they have used any slang words in the exams or any professional piece of writing most of the people replied never but when asked in personal interview most of the people said that they unintentionally use slang word in their papers but in rechecking they rectify the use of slang word.
On the question that should slang language be allowed to use in educational institutes 37 participants out of 53 participants disagrees with the use of slang language in educational institute, which gives us the accumulated percentage of 70.
When asked about the question that have slang language influenced your English most of the people replied yes. Either greatly, slightly or moderately but slang has influenced their English. 77% of the participant said that slang has influenced their English (Greatly, slightly or moderately).
These are some slang words which are very common in our society and most of the people understand these words according to the data.
i. U = You ii. Bcoz = Because iii. LOL = Laughing Out Loud iv. AOA = Asalam-o-Alikum v. 4 = For vi. 4m = From vii. Gr8 = Great viii. F9 = Fine ix. Thx = Thanks x. Tc = Take Care
Conclusion The slang language is influencing our English whether we admit it or not. We are forgetting the difference between a formal and informal piece of writing and we are using the slang language not only in our IM or sms but also in our professional fields. More and more peoples are start using and understanding the slang language. Slang language is not confined to one language it is deepening its roots in every language. The use of slang language is promoted by the use of cell phones and internet. As the use of cell phone and chatting on internet is rapidly increasing, the use slang language is also increasing proportionally. We cannot say for sure but a day may come when everybody talks, writes and reads in slang language instead of any other conventional language.
About the authors S.M.Tamseer Hasan is the student of Telecommunication Engineering in 3rd Semester. Hamid Haleem Khattak is also the student of Telecommunication Engineering at BUITEMS. Muhammad Mujtaba Hassan student of Telecommunication Engineering in 3rd Semester at BUITEMS.
References 1. Neda Ulaby (February 7,2008) “OMG: IM Slang is invading everyday English” (Digital Cultures)
2. Kristen Philipkoski (February 22, 2005) “The Web not the Death of Language” (Wired News)
3. Geoffrey K. Pullum “English in Deep Trouble?” (Language Log)
4. David Crystal (September 20, 2001) “Language and the Internet” (Cambridge University Press)
5. V Tong, T McIntyre and H Silmon (December 1997) “What's the Flavor? Understanding Inmate Slang Usage in Correctional Education Settings” (Journal of Correctional Education)
6. John Brandon “ FWIW - The origin of „Net Shorthand‟ ” (Computerworld.com)
Appendix The questionnaire used for the research
Influence of using slang words on our English Note : We make sure that this piece of document will solely be used for research purpose and after completion of our project we will destroy this piece of document.
We want to collect data for our research question that “Is slang language influencing our English”. Therefore, we are taking opinions of different peoples through questionnaire. Hope that you will give true opinions on the following questions The word slang has very vast meanings, but here we are using it for the shortened words used in cell phone messaging (sms), chatting and other forms of writing. For example : LOL = Laughing Out Loud, 4m = from, u = you, g8 = great
Name (Optional) : _________________________________________ Gender :
Age Group : i. 17-19 year iii.23-25 year Profession :
2. Female ii. 20-22 year iv.25+ year ii. Teacher
QUESTIONS (Tick only one choice) Q. 1. Do you use such kind of words? Yes No Don’t know Sometimes Q. 2. Slang words you use most commonly (Write those words) i. _________________________ ii. _________________________ iii. _________________________ Q. 3. Do you think most persons understand the complete meanings of the slang words Agree Disagree Don’t know
Q. 4. In your opinion what percentage of people use slang words mostly? 0 - 20% 21 - 40% 41 - 60% 61 - 80% 81 - 100% Q. 5. Do you think a new slang word is being developed everyday. Strongly Agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree Q. 6. In your opinion, slang language is more popularized by Cell phone messaging Chatting American English Punjabi mixing into urdu Don’t know Q. 7. When you encounter such words do you think you are enable to crack its complete meaning. Mostly Often Sometimes On every occasion Little Can’t crack complete meaning Q. 8. I think i start using slang words in cell phone messaging because : Less no. of words per message I like using slang words Many letters assigned to one key Don’t use in my messaging It’s in fashion To save time Q. 9. Do you think slang words convey the complete meaning of what you are trying to say. Agree Disagree Sometime yes Don’t know Q. 10. Do you think you have produced some new slang words. YES NO
Q. 11. Have you ever used such kind of words in your exams/professional piece of document, whether intended or casually. Many times Sometimes Always Never Never noticed Q. 12. In your opinion, slang words should be allowed to use educational institutes, and professional fields. Strongly agree Agree Can’t say Disagree Strongly disagree Q. 13. Do you think slang words will become very common in near future? Yes No Don’t know Q. 14. Do you think using slang words have worsen your spellings. Agree Disagree Can’t say Q. 15. Do you think the slang words have some influence on your English. Greatly Slightly Moderately Not at all We are thankful to you for your cooperation