Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Southern California Slang Dictionary

On a quest for a recently published slang dictionary, I located multiple references to UCLA's Slang Dictionary 6 which came out in August 2009. If you want a copy, you can apparently still order one at this address. Before you make your purchase, however, you might want to check out one or two reviews of this particular version. Whether or not these expressions are used nationally or internationally may affect your decision to buy a copy of the dictionary (there is an older version that is downloadable from the above address), but this slang will definitely give you some insight into Southern California young adult culture.

What English Is

This morning I uncovered a wonderful short rap on YouTube called The 21st Century Flux. It captures my views on English quite well. English is this dynamic language that's everywhere right now and has taken on (and continues to adopt) words from every other language in the world. We adopt these words and say them our own way. Vocabulary that people around the world are using that become part of the internet or media lexicon become part of the language. Even the grammar is changing!

Students: If you're preparing for the Cambridge Advanced level exam, you might try listening to the rap before reading the lines on the screen. See if you recognize any of the expressions; then look at the screen the second time around. Since the speaker is not rapping in American English, it was even a challenge for me to understand. That's part of the beauty of English, however. There are so many accents and so many ways to say the same thing.