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SLANG ME! The informal use of words in language!

  • It's time to get a little "crazy" ( also known properly as "to have fun")

    After three years of talking to many of you in emails, I have learned a lot of non-formal words used to describe things in our various languages. In the U.S.A. we call them slang words.  For instance in the U.S. A. we might say "Pumped!, Jacked or Syked" in exchange for the proper word " Excited"!

    Every Month I am going to post a new word and invite the 55 countries we have on board to send in the equivalent slang for your language. 

    The word for February is " HAPPY - to feel good about something, proud - 

    A colloquialism can relate to words, expressions or phrases that aren’t used in most formal written speech, though this can vary. They may also be called slang terms, though they aren’t necessarily slang in a negative sense. It often isn’t rude to utter a colloquialism. These words or terms may be specific to a region, or fall into popular style based on a variety of factors.

    There are plenty of colloquialism examples in American speech. One such example is the phrase “What’s up?” Many of us would understand this as an informal question that expresses ideas like “Hi,” or “How are you?” or “What are you doing?” Yet you wouldn’t want to begin a business letter with the phrase, or even just a nice letter to a family member. Part of the problem with a colloquialism like “What’s up,” is that it is very vague, and its informality wouldn’t be suited to most formal writing, unless you are writing fiction where it would make sense for a character to utter such a phrase.

    You’ll note some colloquialism types come directly from cultural influence on language. For instance texting has resulted in a number of abbreviated terms that are entering common usage. “OMG,” may be understood as “Oh My God,” and you may hear people, especially younger ones, utter the letters as much as they might utter the whole phrase.

    While Americans might easily understand what “OMG” means, they might have more trouble understanding certain colloquialisms that come from different regions of the US. Sometimes a term takes on a specific name that is tied to region and may not be easily recognizable elsewhere. These terms are occasionally called regionalisms instead of colloquialisms. One of the most famous examples is how different regions of the US describe soda. In some regions it is “pop,” in others, “soda.”

    Occasionally, pronunciation creates colloquial phrases. For instance the term “creek” might be written or spoken as “crick” in certain parts of the US. This is not to be confused with the colloquialism where person has a “crick in the neck.”

    You may notice use of colloquial phrases even more profoundly if you speak American English and travel to someplace like Australia, where the new girl you meet is a “Nice Sheila," which might leave you grinning like a shot fox, in other words very happy. Moreover, you might be called to babysit ankle biters (kids) on your trip. Just remember not to yabber too often (talk a lot), and don’t skite (boast) when you meet new people.

    Even in your primarily language, the occasional colloquialism may be challenging to understand, but imagine how difficult it is when you are learning a new language. Plenty of colloquial words and phrases can make new language learners frustrated. This is particularly the case when a word that has a colloquial meaning also has a dictionary meaning that is quite different.