Hoot. Sketch. Raw. What do these words mean? They mean slang. Slang that only teenagers of the Bay Area are aware of. The new slang that students are using at the school not only separates them from other teenagers around the world but also creates a detrimental communication barrier between generations.
Some may say that slang is the course the evolution of the English language.But if this is so, how are students supposed to effectively communicate with their parents, grandparents and teachers if they use words these people have never even heard of? Slang severely diminishes the level of communication between adults and teenagers.
Not only is the level of communication weakened when teenagers use slang, it also can make adults feel confused. Adults may perceive slang words to be offensive when they do not understand their “real” meanings.
Many adults also judge people who use slang and assume that the person is not intelligent. When a person says “slapdick” or “hootstick” in a conversation, they sound less intelligent and convey a facade of stupidity.
“People get the idea that you are uneducated if you use bad slang,” sophomore Scott Yuan said.
The use of slang also creates a communication barrier between teenagers. From the back of the school to the quad, from Northern California to Southern California, from East Coast to West Coast, slang differs by region. Differences in dialect cause miscommunications, which in extreme scenarios can lead to violence.
Frequently, when teenagers from Northern California meet Southern Californians and say “hella,” they are surrounded by a fire of laughter. This conveys disrespect to the Northern Californians. With a rush of embarrassment, the Northern Californian can inherit angry feelings. Many slang words are also derogatory and can offend people. The words “lame” and “gay,” which now convey the meaning of being “stupid,” refer to real minority groups, and when someone uses these words those groups may be offended.
Sure, slang expresses creativity and a society with no creativity is a terrible society to live in, but perhaps if students did not use so much slang people would understand each other better. Perhaps students who previously would not talk to each other because of differing dialects would become friends, and perhaps the school as a whole would get along better.