Contemporary American slang is a very complicated language phenomenon. It is a kind of very colloquial and extremely word style, which constitutes new words, new meanings or some figure of speech (Fengjian, 1987: 43), but humor is the most distinctive characteristic, which can be found in its vocabulary, grammar, phrases or expressions. This article attempts to make an exploration in the humorous language form and the rhetoric model function of American slang. .
•Humorous slang language form .
Language is a kind of social communicative instrument and humor makes it marvelous. The main purpose to use humorous slang language is to get a kind of comedic effect. In this aspect, there are some masters who are particularly good at language humor, such as Mark Twain in America, Stephen Butler Leacock in Canada, Charles Dickens in England, Lin yutang & Laoshe in China etc. Since humor has gained so many great literature masters favor, it is sure that humor has its unique effect. It's true that humor not only makes literature works colorful, but also makes a nation's language lively and attractive. Just as Langston Hughes said:Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.? (The book of Negro Humor (1984 £ ∘198). .
Besides such wonderful effect in standard speech, humor displays much more excellence in American slang. Its special language exists in wide extension. We can find a lot of examples from the three areas of word sound, grammar and vocabulary. .
1.1 Word sounds .
If the language lacks without characteristic, it will lose its supporters and disseminators. Slang possesses a foothold and multiplies its posterity in many American language forms, just because it makes best use of the word sounds rhyme for humorous and fleeting expressive effect. For example, the bee's knees (excellent person or thing); razzle-dazzle (daft); half-inch means pinch (because it rhymes between inch and pinch); tealeaf refers to thieves; north and south refers to mouth (because it rhymes between south and mouth) etc.