Slang is a type of a language mostly used in an informal setting. It can be one word or a phrase. Usually, the words are derived by altering the original standard words. They are a subversion of the original words. Slang language is commonly used more in speech than in writing. It has only been known to be used in writing short text messages especially using devices such as mobile phones. Normally this language is usually specific for a particular group of people. For example, the teens have a slang that may not be of use to the elderly and vice versa. Words or phrases in this language may be permanent or may last just for a season and fade in meaning. Some are abbreviations for particular phrases. This language cannot be used where there are people with high social status or who demand respect through their responsibilities as it is unofficial.
Advantages of Slang
This language is known to give a sense of belonging to the members of the group in which it is used. Knowledge of the slang used for communication in a certain group makes one feel comfortable being around the other people belonging to the group. This has a positive psychological effect on the individual. It has also helped to replace words that are offensive or uncomfortable to use. Slang can also make it easy to pass information to the intended specific group of people out of a large group. For example where a speaker wants to pass information to adults, and there are children among them.
Criticism of slang language
Critics for slang raise concern on the impact of this language on the learning of the standard official languages in children. They argue that use of slang has contributed to the poor grades in languages experienced in school children. Use of this language has also lowered the mastery of the official languages. This has a negative effect on people in events where they are required to use official language, for example, public speaking and job interviews. It has also been pointed out as encouraging bad behaviours among the groups using it. This is a cause of people outside that group who may not understand whatever is being communicated. This has been a challenge to parents as they may not always understand what their kids are talking about. This has made it difficult to discipline them.