How often have you heard a slang word that just sounds so stupid to you? Why do other people think it’s cool? Clearly your slang is much cooler than theirs. Right?
What is slang anyway? Why do we have it? Why does it change so much?
Slang is the part of language that is used by different groups to show group membership. If you don’t know the slang, then group members know that you don’t belong. That’s why those darn kids use all those words no one understands. Your lack of understand shows them that you are an outsider. It changes so much because slowly, outsiders catch on and start to use slang that is not their own. This signals to the group that it is time to change the slang.
Slang is a way for subcultures to identify with other members of the subculture. Let’s use the example of pop culture. People who identify with pop culture tend to use words like bae. I’m using this one because it’s a commonly hated word by outsiders. So if someone sees another person use this word, then they know what, at least a little bit about them. People who don’t know what it means, or don’t use it, probably don’t belong to that subculture.
Another popular term now, especially among the LGBT community is shade. A lot of people use this word incorrectly. This shows that the person is aware of the subculture, and is maybe trying to get into that subculture, but are not actually a part of that subculture.
So why do people hate certain slang so strongly? I don’t really know. Maybe it’s because they don’t understand it. Or maybe because it isn’t part of their own slang, and therefore not part of their subculture.
When you tell someone that their slang is stupid, you are saying that their subculture is stupid. Essentially, what you are saying is that your subculture is better than theirs. Don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy. If someone uses slang that you don’t understand, don’t say that the slang is stupid, just ask what it means. Likewise, if someone doesn’t understand the slang that you use, don’t call them stupid for not understanding. Just explain it, or use a different word.
We are part of a global culture, and you’ll have to interact with people from different cultures and subcultures regularly. If someone doesn’t understand part of your culture or subculture, just explain it. If you don’t understand someone else’s culture, ask.
Saying that someone’s slang is stupid, is saying that their culture is stupid, which, is actually saying that the way they experience life is stupid. Again, don’t be that person. Everyone is different. Be respectful.
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