How slang is changing the way we speak

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Photo Credit: Photo via Flickr Under Creative Commons License

Slang was created in 1600 England. Thieves, tramps, criminals and vagabonds used them as a way of excluding or confusing a particular group of people.

By: Elias Meli, reporter

2022 is a year full of constant trends, and with that are some slang words. Many phrases have been recently prevalent among the current generation.

Background of slang

A slang word is a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people.

Slang refers to a type of language that’s too informal to use in certain situations. You can tell a word or phrase is slang when it becomes uncool to the public eye to use after a while. “Groovy” and “far out” are outdated words. These terms can be vulgar or offensive to use in a polite conversation.

Slang words definitions

TikTok heavily influences the Gen Z generation. Some of that has led to how they decide to communicate. Gen Z usually refers to the millennials that were born between the years 1997-2012.

Sus is usually a term used to describe someone who is acting suspiciously or differently in a situation. It stemmed from the game Among Us as a term to describe people who the crewmates thought were the imposter.

Caught in 4k” is a term used for people who get called out or caught red-handed. This describes someone who was caught doing something in action. This stems from 4k which means a high resolution of roughly 4,000 pixels.

“No cap” is a term to prove that you aren’t lying. “Cap” is a slang word for a lie and “no cap” is just another term for no lie.

“Ghosting” is when a person suddenly ends all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship.

“Tea” is gossip and “spilling the tea” is telling someone else all the juicy details.

“Periodt” is used at the end of verbal sentence to add emphasis to a point that has been made.
“Flexing” on someone is a way to one-up or prove you are better.
Leaving someone “on read” is an electronic insult, the same as answering someone in person with silence.
“Snack” is a cute way of saying someone looks good or is attractive.

After a TikTok trend increases in popularity is when these words are put to use. They shorten a phrase to something that rolls off the tongue better. Here a few examples.

“IRL” is an acronym for In Real Life and is used to distinguish reality from something that happens in games, on social media or on TV.

Community standpoint on slang words

“Having taught at the high school level for 20 years, I’ve heard a lot of slang terms used by my students. The problem now is that it appears in their writing and a lot of the slang is shortened or abbreviated words. Essays require a more formal vernacular,” Danielle Allen, an English teacher and Journalism teacher from Colonia High School. Allen believes that when writing essays you shouldn’t use these words, but in a casual conversation it’s okay to use.

Teachers usually do not like the use of these words in essays and prefer and grade on proper grammar and English.

Slang words are pretty funny, I think it’s funny to see this generation make up slang words and have someone older say huh? Or what does that mean? Reactions like that are funny to me,” Dylan Maltez. Maltez is a sophomore at Colonia High School. He likes the use of slang words and thinks that it is funny to confuse the older generation who are less likely to catch onto trends on the internet.