SLANG – The New Culture?

Posted on August 3, 2012 in Specials

By Ashna Mishra:

OMG! Wat a day I had!!! Lol… 😛”, reads the status of a very dear friend.

Seems okay? Well, to many of you, it certainly could! But, there lies a cause of concern here. No, the status is not what I’m talking about but, the “OMG” and the “LOL”, and not to forget, the “wat”.

The SMS slang and abbreviations have developed over time so as to shorten the time taken in typing messages, thus making it convenient for the users to convey messages easily. But, to my shock and surprise, this culture has penetrated so deep into our lives that these slangs have become a part of our language. What was created by us to ease SMS communication has now permeated in our everyday speech, which indeed is a matter of concern.

The short forms of the spellings were created specifically for the purpose of instant messaging. However, today they have seeped so deep that we tend to use these slangs in our day-to-day lives. This makes me think of a society that would be accountable to a threat to the upcoming generation of not knowing the right spellings at all.

It is not just the SMS abbreviations that raise concern but also the internet slangs, particularly the youth slang. Slangs, usually, are believed to be momentary and transient in nature but now we can clearly see a regenerative feature attached to them. Their persistent and powerful presence in the written and spoken language says it all. The most vital factor associated with the production of slang is, youth. The youth basically due to the generational phase they are in, tend to create a vocabulary which is their own in order to set them apart. In this process of invention of an all new vocabulary, they generally ignore the extent to which they get engrossed into it. Thus the slangs can be attributed as a“culture of the youth”.

When it comes to the slangs, it is usually expected and believed that once the transitory phase is through and as the younger generation becomes more mature, they would come back to the normal speech. However, this does not seem to happen anymore and instead more and more people apart from the youth are inclined to it and are adopting it.

Moreover, the day is not too far when profanity would replace slangs and this process has already begun. The need for going back to our lingual roots is imminent and it’s about time, parents, teachers, and we ourselves start working towards this.

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