There is an article called “Twerking, selfie and unlike?” written by a woman called Isabelle Kerr which has caused me some distress. In this article, Isabelle talks about how slang and how they are ” Bizarre, nonsensical and downright pointless words”. In this piece, I’m going to talk about the reasons why I disagree and how slang can be very useful and powerful in the modern world.
Kerr mentions youth are not focusing on words to ” improve our ability to communicate and express ourselves.” By making this point, Kerr is making the youth of today seem as if the words that are being created and used are completely irrelevant replacements for perfectly good words that already exist. When in reality, the words that have been created were all words that no existing word covered. In addition, before many words of the words in the dictionary were in there, many were considered slang such as words like monumental and remorseless. These words, in the modern day, are considered sophisticated words and when said by a person, they are thought to be of great intellect. What Kerr is trying to say is these words, along with words like cater, compromise and academe, should not have been invented due to them being invented to cover a certain area what no word currently covers or give people individuality and originality, like what slang does. These words I spoke about previously were also created by Shakespeare, who was regarded as the greatest writer in the English Language. Is Kerr saying that our countries finest play write and poet is also a apathetic, ASBO-wielding yob just like the youth today for being inventive and trying to advance the English Language?
Slang can also give people or an area singularity and make them unique. This is shown in such words such as gaff. This word has a dictionary definition which is “a stick with a hook or barbed spear, for landing large fish” however its slang term means house amongst cockney Londoners. This creative and individual use for the word is not a bad thing but a thing that gives words personal meanings. If this word is used naturally and not forced by a person then it shows a lot about a person before they have even got to know someone. It also shows intelligence as the persons brain jumps to a new word rather than the word every body else uses or a word they have been brought up learning.
In addition to these points, Kerr specifically points out the word twerk. She says ” To reiterate, I had no idea what twerking involved before all this kicked off, and I’m still not entirely sure either”. Firstly, by saying she is not entirely sure what the word means shows Isabelle has not fully done her research and the fact she is complaining about it being in the dictionary and the dictionary is used to find out the definition of words is, is completely contradictory. Also, if many people share her opinion, maybe twerk being in the dictionary is for the best as it would help these “many people” understand the mind boggling mystery. The word twerk also dates back to the early 1800’s, meaning it was not created by the youth of the today but by the early Victorian’s. The Oxford Dictionary has said that the word twerk is an amalgamation of the words twist and jerk and was spelt twirk until 1901. Furthermore, maybe the reason why Kerr is so afraid is because she doesn’t like the action, not the word therefore wanting to completely get rid of it. However, if there was no word such as twerk, what would she call this action she despises.
As time goes on, many things advance like technology and people. This is the same as language and the current influx of new words, considered slang, is a huge step forward and it shows the huge understanding that people are beginning to have about newly invented words.