Slang, as the most mentioned representative word form of the informal vocabulary, occupies a prominent role in contemporary society. It has become the second language of any democratic country. Everybody uses it even if one pretends that he has never used it. It is a veritable issue and it will appear more actual if we take a look at its depth – at its origin, its roots and see how slang achievedstep by step its actual status.
Now we will go through its history beginning with its origonal usage and will pay attention to the details while talking about slang's appearance in European countries and the USA. The picture that we will get will help us to realize slang's complexity and what is really important – its omnipresence.
The earliest example of the word hitherto ‘discovered' occurs in Toldervy's ‘History of Two Orphans', published in 1756. One of the characters in this story is a man who, “in return for the numerous lies' which he told, was called: the cannon-traveler ; and it is said of him that “he had been upon the town, and knew the slang well.” It is not clear whether “slang” here has its modern sense, or whether it means the ways of fast life in London. A more unequivocal instance, two years later in date, is quoted in J. C. Hotten's Slang Dictionary (1864) from a book entitled Jonathan Wild's ‘Advice to his Successor', apparently one of the many catch penny publications that were called forth by the popularity of Fielding's burlesque romances.
No copy of this book is in the British Museum or the Bodleian Library, and inquiries have failed to discover any trace of its existence; but there is no reason to doubt that Hotten had seen it. The passage, as quoted by him, is as follows: Let proper Nurses be assigned to take care of these Babes of Grace (i.e. young thieves). The Master who teaches them should be a man. Well versed in the Cant Language, commonly called the Slang Patter, in which they should by all means excel.”
Four years later, in 1762, the word is found with a different and now obsolete meaning, in Foote's play ‘The Orators'. A fast young Oxford man, invited to attend a lecture on oratory, is asked, “Have you not seen the bills?” He replies, “What, about the lectures? Aye, but that's all slang, I suppose.” Here the word seems, to be equivalent to “humbug.” In the 1st edition of Hugh Kelly's comedy ‘The School for Wives', there is a passage (omitted in some of the later reprints) in which one of a company of shapers, who pretend to be foreigners and speak broken English, says: There's a language called slang, that we sometimes talk in. . . . It's a little rum tongue, that we understand among von another.
Francis Grose's ‘Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue' (1785) has the entry “Slang, the cant language”; and after this, instances of the word are abundant. In the early part of the 19th century, it appears in literature chiefly as a general term of condemnation, for “low-lived” and undignified modes of expression.
[...] As in any language, slang reflects the experiences, beliefs and values of its speakers. Yet, college slang is not a complete language. College slang doesn't contain terms for everything the student discusses. However, items that are frequently encountered by college students or are important to college life are often given slang symbols. There are many terms to say something is good or bad and to evaluate persons positively or negatively. College slang is also descriptive and contains many symbols for: food or eating, money, effective or ineffective performance, relationships, intoxication and college places. [...]
[...] During the 1990s, Russian student culture experienced significant changes that are manifest in the composition of student slang vocabulary. In transitional Russian conditions, students seek to strengthen their social identity, value system, and emotional growth, but are finding this difficult to achieve. Increasingly, students turn to one another for support, but struggle to create group harmony in a society experiencing a difficult transition from collectivism to competitive individualism. Russian college slang reflects the adaptation of university students to cultural changes, particularly cultural influences from the West. [...]
[...] As there are a lot of dictionaries that differ in defining such a term as slang the same way, people think in different ways about such phenomenon as slang. In 1825, J. P. Thomas, in Thought Book” bluntly declared: language of slang is the conversation of fools.” There are other names as Professor G. H. McKnight, Fowler Brothers in King's English” who have the same opinion. This applies mainly to authors and orators. But no stylist, no one capable of good speaking or good writing, is likely to be harmed by the occasional employment of slang. [...]
[...] In accordance with the proposed purpose the main tasks that have to be determined are: - to make a careful study of the non-standard vocabulary paying special attention to slang; - to make a contrastive study of the slang and other kinds of colloquial vocabulary; - to collect practical material from Salinger's novel Catcher in the - to summarize the obtained data; - to make suggestions as to the adequacies in translation. The research was carried out on the basis of 550 examples of slangy words and slangy expressions taken from the Salinger's work Catcher in the in accordance with the following methods: - semantic analysis; - method of synthesis; - generalization - contrastive analysis of linguistic data; - statistical processing of data; - analysis. [...]
[...] No doubt it may accidentally happen that a word, which originates as slang is superior in expressiveness to its regular synonym (much as a nickname may identify a person better than his name does), or that in time it develops a shade of meaning, which the ordinary language cannot convey. But when such a word comes to be used mainly on account of its intrinsic merit, and not because it is a wrong word, it is already ceasing to be slang. [...]
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