WR122 paper, using Jeffersons “Declaration of Independence” as a model-RJ
When, in the course of human language, it becomes necessary for people to
create or redefine, words or phrases to express an object or an action; and to assume,
among society, the acceptance and usage of these words and their definitions, in ones
own language, or idiolect. A decent respect to the opinions of mankind, requires that
Americans should recognize slang adopted into language.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that language is expression of thought,
in the form of speech or written symbols, that have agreed-upon meanings. That, many
large speaking languages contain dialects, or other versions of languages within a
community, that are different in some aspects of grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary.
That, because language is a form of ones own ideas and expression, everyone possesses
his or her own individual language, or idiolect. That, not only does perception change
language, but that language changes perception. That, through the course of history,
idiolects have shaped dialects, which have shaped language, which in turn, have shaped
concepts. Conservatives, indeed, will dictate that languages will follow a narrow path
toward a standard language. And accordingly, expression will follow the rules and
guidelines that limit thought, rather than the ability to rethink old vocabulary and enrich
new ones. When we speak, write, learn, and think in a slowly evolving vocabulary, which
does not adapt to the more rapid introduction of cultures, concepts, fashion, and
technology, we must add new meaning to conventional vocabulary. Such has been the
language of Conservative American English speakers and writers, who have discouraged
the use of creative language and the use of dialects and idiolects. Many individuals have
not noticed that new vocabulary is, at many times, adopted into ones language. A large
number of slang words and phrases have been considered standard in todays daily speech.
To prove this, let us claim a few of the many slang terms that have been adopted.
Slang has been used, where other words seemed unfit to describe a thought or
New words that were created to describe new technology:
A “cellular” or mobile telephone.
The “internet” or the computer and modem accessed information highway.
“Electronic mail” or computer generated mail.
A “beeper” or an electronic paging device.
Metaphors, similes, and creativeness also create slang:
One thousand dollars is a “grand.”
Smoking marijuana is the same thing as smoking “weed” or “pot.”
A toilet is the “can.”
A “Pig” is also a policeman.
If something is “bad” it is really “good.”
Those who are “plastered” are drunk.
Those who are “hammered” are drunk.
People who are driving too close behind another car are “tailgating.”
Slang, also evolves in the form of phrases:
A person “Kicking Back,” is relaxing.
“Cut to the chase” or get to the point.
Accept the consequences, or “face the music.”
“Two cents worth,” or an opinion.
“The whole nine yards” or everything.
In the English language, we have petitioned for the use of slang in language. But
our creative language has been considered meaningless to conservatives of standard
English. Conservatives, who themselves use vocabulary that was at one time considered
slang, are unfit to argue against it.
Every language around the world adopts slang that, at one point, was considered
nonstandard to the majority of the people. Slang is used to provide new shades of
meaning. Slang is shared by introducing new concepts, just as new objects and ideas are
shared. All vocabulary establishes its meaning through the acceptance of its concept into
ones language. We must continue to express thoughts through ones choice of
language, and accept them, as we would accept the importance of originality and creativity
We, therefore, the representatives of a linguistic society, do, in the Name, and by
authority of speakers and writers of English, declare that slang refreshes language with
new concepts, ideas, and interest; that slang allows language to evolve with society; that
there are no determining factors in declaring a “true” language; and, that language contains
vocabulary where its meanings are changed and new ones are introduced.