British slang and its classification — страница 5

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only they, being native speakers of the English language, are its masters and lawgivers. It is for them to place slang in its proper category by specifying its characteristic features. Many words formerly labeled as slang have now become legitimate units of the Standard English. Thus, the word "kid" (=child), which was considered low slang in the 19th century, is now a legitimate colloquial unit of the English literary language. It sounds unbelievable but not so long ago the words: of course, to take care, to get up, lunch were considered to be slang. "Lunch" entered the language after World War I is not used in some books that prefer "dinner" to "lunch". 2.2 Types of slang Slang users tend to invent many more synonyms or near-synonyms than

might be thought strictly necessary: for example, criminals may have a dozen different nicknames (gat, crone, iron, chrome) for their guns, or for informers (canary, grass, snout, stoolie); drinkers can choose from hundreds of competing descriptions of a state of intoxication (hammered, hamstered, langered, mullered) 0 It is convenient to group slang words according to their place in the vocabulary system and more precisely in the semantic system of the vocabulary. If they denote a new and necessary notion they may prove an enrichment of the vocabulary and be accepted into Standard English. If on the other hand they make just another addition to a cluster of synonyms and have nothing but novelty to back them, they die out very quickly, constituting the most changeable part of the

vocabulary. Another type of classification suggests subdivision according to the sphere of usage, into general slang and special slang. 0General slang includes words that are not specific for any social or professional group, whereas special slang is peculiar for some such group: teenager slang, university slang, public school slang, Air Force slang, football slang, sea slang and so on. General slang is language that speakers deliberately use to break with the standard language and to change the level of discourse in the direction of formality. It signals the speakers` intention to refuse conventions0 and their need to be fresh and startling in their expression, to ease social exchanges and induce friendliness, to reduce excessive seriousness and avoid clichés, in brief, to

enrich the language. General slang words have a wide circulation as they are neither group – nor subject – restricted.0 You’ll hear Brits refer to their currency as quid, much in the same way American dollars are "bucks" and Canadian money is called "loonies." If someone asks to borrow a fag off you, give them a cigarette. In Britain, a kiss is called a snog. If someone is knackered, that means they are exhausted. If someone is referred to as "a minger", that means that they’re unattractive. If someone tells you to "Bugger off!" well, it is suggested that you go away. Instead of "Hi, how are you?" go with the quick and easy British "Alright?" No answer is expected. Emphasize greatness. These include

"barry," "ace" and "kewl." The latter kind of sounds like "cool" but you’ll know the difference in your heart. Insult others. Calling someone an "arseface" or a "pilchard" will be even more the merrier if they have no clue you are insulting them to their face. Throw in the emphatic "bloody" a lot. Bloody this, bloody that and bloody everything. The British are also known to put it in the middle of words for even more emphasis, such as "absobloodlylutely." Describe drunks. Slang is always full of euphemisms for "drunk" in any language. The British versions include "airlocked" and "bevvied up," as in "full of beverage." Special slang is language that speakers

use to show their belonging to a group and establish solidarity or intimacy with the other group members.0 It is often used by speakers to create their own identity, including aspects such as social status and geographical belonging, or even age, education, occupation, lifestyle, and special interests. It is largely used by people of a common age and experience to strengthen the bonds within their own peer group, keeping the older generation at a distance.0It is also used by people sharing the same occupation to increase efficiency in communication; or by those sharing the same living conditions to hide secret information from people in authority. It is finally used by people sharing an attitude or a life style to reinforce their group cohesiveness, keeping insiders together and