All slang is metaphor…

Today in my ENG 101 classes, we discussed appropriate word choice for Standard American English.  One part of the discussion is about slang—and how you have to avoid it in your formal academic writing.  

Slang is exclusive—particular to a group of people. It’s also specific to a particular time period, which is why  it’s no longer fashionable to use the slang we used when I was a teenager. But it is fun to reminisce about how utterly ridiculous we sounded.

“All slang is metaphor and all metaphor is poetry.” So sayeth G.K. Chesterton anyway. I’m not so sure the stuff we said “back in the day” really qualifies:

  • Take a Chill Pill
  • Where’s the Beef?
  • Smooth move, ex-lax
  • That’s it–that’s the ticket
  • Gag Me With A Spoon
  • Gnarly
  • What’s your damage? (alternatively “what’s your malfunction?”)
  • Gotta jet
  • Psych!
  • Duh
  • Airhead
  • Bite me (I still say this)

Dude, we were so, like, totally rad…to the max. Duh.

1 Comment

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One response to “All slang is metaphor…

  1. Wow, all of those words bring back memories. I remember when I was in college I knew a group of gals from Japan who were exchange students. I cannot tell you how many times I would say something and one of them would ask what I meant. Most of the time I didn’t even realize the word I used was slang, but for them it was definitely not in their coursework as “English”. 🙂

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