Slang is an important part of the language because it gives the identity to people who speak it. They share this language and it can be used to share values, norms, and even culture. Slang is a part of urbanization and it shows how other cultures and events can affect language. “The immediacy, informality, and intimacy of radio and its appeal to tightly defined groups made it an extremely effective medium for the transmission of slang” (Coleman 258). In the modern world, the level of technological development allows people to be in touch with their foreign friends or relatives living abroad freely. Undoubtedly, the technologies contributed to the dissemination of jargon.
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The Internet slang mostly represented by the abbreviations used by Internet users is one of the brightest examples of the impact of technology on language (“Internet Slang” n.pag.). It goes without saying that the roots of the slang represent the interesting area of the study in Linguistics. Walt Whitman, the outstanding American poet of the XIX century, in his work Slang in America compared slang to the indirection and said that it was “an attempt to escape from bold literalism, and express itself illimitable” (Myers 2). Eric Partridge, the British lexicographer, defines 15 reasons people use slang including the exercising of the ingenuity and humor, being ‘different’ or novel, being brief and concise, inducing either friendliness or intimacy, and others (“15 Reasons People Use Slang” n.pag.).
Slang became popular all over the world. It is frequently referred to as the term jargon. The slang can be distinguished by its belonging to the particular professional, age, or social groups. For example, ‘da bomb’ is the popular African American slang which is used to describe someone or something great (“Slang” n.pag.). The history of the American slang can be described decade by decade. For instance, the 1950s gave birth to ‘boo-boo’ meaning ‘the mistake’ and ‘hot’ meaning ‘sexy or attractive’, the 1960s – to ‘horn’ meaning ‘the telephone’, the 1980s – to ‘meltdown’ meaning ‘to collapse’ (“History of American Slang Words” n.pag.). In addition, the popular American words and phrases include ‘buck’ or ‘one dollar’, ‘chill’ or ‘relax’, and ‘what’s up?’ meaning ‘how are you?’ (“Popular American Slang Words and Phrases” n.pag.).
The process of globalization influenced the linguistic environment substantially (Delhumeau n.pag.). The modern world changes rapidly due to the development of innovations, which increase the speed of communication and contribute to the interplay of the linguistic environments of different countries. The Japanese scholars argue that the English communication style influences the Japanese language greatly and indicates to the idiomaticity as one of the major areas of the impact (Ota n.pag.; Vaish 61). The concept of idiomaticity is closely related to slang. The international mergers and acquisitions, as well as the use of English as the corporate language allowing hiring talented non-Japanese executives, reflect the modern trends in the Japanese linguistic environment (Iwatani, Orr, and Salsberg n.pag.). The economic development plays a crucial role in the transformation of the language environment. The languages of the leading countries seem to be much more attractive for people.
The scholars emphasize the importance of the media resources in the evolution of the linguistics characteristics (Castells 202; Crystal 60). The media facilitates the development of dialects and slang. “Geographical place is losing its importance, being supplanted by electronic, virtual localities – and, as this occurs, local varieties of language are supplanted by global varieties of language like English and the medialects” (Hjarvard 95). The Arabic language also remains under the strong influence of English and the American slang, in particular, due to the development of technologies and globalization. The researchers say that English becomes “the medium of instruction” and, thus, changes the authentic language in the Arabian countries (Khawlah 199). The international exchange of students, undoubtedly, plays an important role in the social and cultural transformations. The American educational standards also influenced the development of the Arabic language (Mills B7 cited in Khawlah 198).
In order to sum up all the above mentioned, it should be said that slang plays an important role in communication among people. It is used for a number of reasons including being brief and concise or expressing a sense of humor and friendliness. The development of American slang started a long time ago. However, the technological breakthrough of the last decades stimulated the significant increase in its lexicon. The Internet plays a vital role in the promotion of slang words and phrases. Being the tool of globalization, the Internet slang influences the linguistic environment of many countries.
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