The English Slang-uage


Jordyn Larsen, Journalist

   Proper English does not exist in our modern everyday language. In fact, if anyone is caught speaking proper English, they are thrown strange looks and are referred to an advanced English class. In the face of all of this, slang has taken the place of many common words in the English language.

  Some of the most commonly used words in slang are lit and savage, which for strange reasons are very popular. They are used to describe something awesome but in the English language they have completely different meanings.

  The word lit refers to the past participle of light or “having been ignited; burning” which is nothing to do with being awesome (Oxford Dictionaries). And the term savage is definitely not a positive connotation to those who know its true meaning: “fierce, violent and uncontrolled” and “primitive and uncivilized” (Oxford Dictionaries). Yet people still have found a way to use them as a replacement for common adjectives.

  However, there are words that are even more absurd that have been used, such as “tubular” and “roasted.” As ridiculous as it sounds, these words are still hilarious when spoken randomly in a sentence. They simply don’t imply the idea that something is cool or that someone has just been insulted (or “triggered”) in public.

  Slang is also used in forms of affection. In public schools, couples are constantly replacing each other’s normal names with words like “bae” and “boo.” Of course, pet names like this are a part of loving relationships, but in certain cases, some might actually find it discomforting to be called “poop” or to be openly booed by their dates. But despite all of this, no one seems to acknowledge what they are really saying to each other.

  It’s even in our everyday body language. Teens often “dab” after making a clever joke or comeback or flash peace signs while taking a selfie without even realizing a “peace sign” is just holding up the middle and index finger at the same time. Even positive forms, like a thumbs up sign, is simply flashing a thumb at someone as a way of saying “Good job!” or whatever else.

  Now, of course, it is all good fun and a normal part of speech and actions to use slang in such blatant forms. As long as it doesn’t offend anyone, it is acceptable; however, many of the words are being used for humorous purposes as well as “salty” comebacks.

  Slang is known as the “lazy way of speaking,” but it is the most humorous form of English as well. “I think the word ‘lit’ is the most laughable,” says PVHS teacher Mr. Lightfoot, “because it’s a dated term and people get weirded out when I say it.” And, of course, it really is weird hearing a grown man speak like a rambunctious  teenager.

  As generations age, slang becomes even more diverse. New words are trending in and out (and sometimes back in again) and all the while, the prim and proper are left feeling quaint and retro around their fellow “cool cats.”