Pupils from Clifton High School have made the news for real today, 21 March 2013 as they take part in BBC News School Report.
Here are our crack reporting team:
The Slanguage Report
By Amy, Briony, Ella, Kitty, Jasmine, Lucy, Will.
Our article is all about language, how it has evolved, what it means and how it is used nowadays. Most people use slang without even thinking about it, slang is ever changing and exciting, and fun to use when it is first used. Sometimes, however, words are overused or abused, such as gay. In fact it can be a group bonding activity to come up with new words, or to stick two words together to make portmanteaus eg. wedmin. Slang words have been around for years, and some words that seem new and exciting at the moment have been in use for years, such as swag (although it had a completely different meaning back then). As well as time, the internet has also largely changed the way we speak, with abbreviations and text language.
Slang has always been a part of language. From before the 12th century to now, slang has been a major part of speech.
Today there are thousands of slang words used by young people around the world. It's almost as if there's a secret code amongst a generation. When we asked teachers and parents what some slang words meant they mistook nearly all words, despite being immersed in a culture of slang and having contact with young people. For example, when we asked them what ‘peng' (cool, good looking) meant, teachers thought it was short for penguin. Our teachers were also baffled when we showed them an image of a text message using abbreviations.
Nevertheless, when we asked parents and teachers about the slang of their day we couldn't comprehend words such as ‘mitching' meaning skipping school and ‘bogart' meaning to hog something. We realised that slang is constantly changing, but will always be a part of language and should be accepted and not discarded as incorrect.
Three of us went around the school asking various teachers what they thought a few slang words mean. It appeared that the older the teacher was, the harder it was to know or guess what the slang words meant. The younger the teacher was, the more slang words they got correct. The younger generation are more involved with social media, so it is easier to pick up the slang.
These were our results...
When we interviewed the Head of Geography;
What do you think...
Peng (pretty/hot) means? To be cool
Swag (cool) means? Loot
Wuu2 (what you up to?)? I want you to...
Yolo (You Only Live Once)? When something really bad is about to happen
When we interviewed the Head of Science;
What do you think...
Peng means? When you're not sure if you've seen a penguin or not
Gtg (Got To Go)- Get together
Brb(Be Right Back)- Boring red bunnies
Troll (someone who is mean behind a computer) - Someone who lives under a bridge
Texting has become as much a part of our society as calling someone, but texting now seems even more popular. The amount of text messages that were sent in 2011 alone was 150 billion. This is amazing.....or catastrophic, depending on your point of view. Over the years texting has become a new language. Teenagers may not have not noticed but they have grown up to learn this language and personally I find it hard not to write my English essays in text talk! You may be thinking that no one would ever text like this....but sadly they do. Some people love it and some people hate it, yet most teenagers would understand this text screenshot:
| ||Hello Grandmother,|
I will be right back, I am just going to the park with my friends, sorry I have to go now.
I will see you later xxx
This is a bit excessive, but some people do actually say this!
Here are some examples that people use to abbreviate words because they can't be bothered to type one extra letter!
ab/abt - about
tht - believe it or not this means ‘that'
ASAP As Soon As Possible
Bcos, bcoz, coz, cos - because
Btw - by the way
M8 L8 H8 etc. - mate, late, hate
IDC, IDK - I don't care, I don't know
ILY, ILYT, ILYSM, ILY4E - (there seems to be a whole family connected to love!) I love you, I love you too, I love you so much, I love you forever.
LYCYLBB - Love You, See You Later, Bye Bye
An extreme version which I hope no one actually uses is;
BTWITIAILWU - By the Way I Think I Am In Love With You
OMG has now become a phrase that I hear constantly, from children up to adults! There are quite a few different ways that OMG has been changed, try to guess what all these mean;
OMB - Oh My Buddha
OMDB - Over My Dead Body
OML - Oh My Lord
OMW - Oh My Word
OMD - Oh my days
ONUD - Oh No You Didn't
Some abbreviations like these have two different meanings. For example:
LOL (a favourite for many) - Laugh Out loud or Lots of love
N2M - Not To Mention or Not Too Much
OMW - Oh My Way or Oh My Word
OOC - Out Of Character -or- Out Of Control
QT - Cutie -or- Quiet
STD -Seal The Deal -or- Save The Date -or- Sexually Transmitted Disease (Don't get this one wrong!)
Yet the language gets even more confusing! Texting now does not only consist of letters and silly words like these, they also decide to throw in some numbers! Would you ever write this? H3y m8, wh4t r u d0in tm0z?
Gay,gay or gay?
Over time, the meaning of the word ‘gay' has changed drastically. While it is still thought of as a word for homosexual, among younger generations a new definition has taken form. It is now replacing negative words - such as stupid and ugly - in sentences. The term is used as an insult and to criticize anything which they happen to dislike. For example, phrases such as "My hair looks so gay today," and "Stop being such a gay boy" are becoming increasingly common.
In the past the term "gay" meant "carefree, happy, bright and showy". Homosexuals chose the word themselves, as they wanted to show they were happy to be gay. However, the word is often associated with someone who has exaggerated gestures and emotions and is very theatrical.
A word that often accompanies gay is ‘camp', meaning ‘flamboyant and feminine'. Someone who is camp is often thought to be gay, and anyone gay is presumed to be camp. However, this stereotype is false, and comes from the idea that if a man loves a man, he is like a woman. The word "gay" and "camp" are often associated with bright showy colours, which show how camp homosexuals supposedly are.
More and more slang words are being created every day, but many are just old words recycled with abbreviations and double meanings, as in the case of gay. While it used to be a word for happy, it is now misused in the place of negative words, disrespecting people who are gay.
Is your Swag New?
These days, many children and young adults think that they are shaping the next generation with their brand new language, but for the older generation, those words may just mean something completely different.
For example, when Justin Bieber says "swaggy" or "baby" the older generation may think he is referring to "stolen property" or an "infant".
Many of these "young" words actually date back to as far as the 12th century. Here are a few examples:
Chavvy: a Romany baby or child (1886)
Juice: alcohol (1387)
Hang out: to be found (1811)
Dope: any mixture of drugs (1872)
Nut: fashionably dressed young man (1904)
Stink: a disgusting smell (1300)
Many people think that slang was made by social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter but as you can see a lot of these words come from hundreds of years ago.Portmanteau Words
Swaggy= Cool, Brilliant
Portmanteau words are where two words are put together to form one word. Commonly used examples are ‘chillax' and ‘spagbol'. However, portmanteau words are an example of slang that is no longer used by teenagers, but adults have adopted it, mistaking it for new slang.
Portmanteau words can be used ironically in a jokey way: words such as ‘staycation' (stay and vacation) and ‘relationblip' (a relationship that doesn't last a long time). Perhaps this is where the confusion for adults comes from, thinking that these words are being used seriously, when, to teenager, they seem comical.
Our favourite portmanteaus:
Our most hated:
Brolationship - Relationship between bros (friends)
Twooking - Twitter and Facebooking