Throughout a child's developmental years, adults; such as parents, teachers and caretakers are their principal models for standard speech and grammar skills. Children learn to interact with others through constant attempts to emulate the various styles of communication that are demonstrated all around them. At some point during this long process of edification, kids become young adults with a need to cultivate a sense of individualism. Dialogue takes on a whole new style, and peers have more influence than ever on vocabulary. This paper will explore the development and usage of slang, paying close attention to the key role it plays in the transition from dependence to independence, for it is during this period of growth that language will become an important tool in self-discovery.
According to the web site, The Learning Network, slang is a vernacular vocabulary not generally acceptable in formal usage. It often conveys a cutting, sometimes offensive, no-nonsense attitude, and lends itself to poking fun at pretentiousness. Just about every culture and sub-culture has its own version of a local dialect. Most often it is derived from commonly used words and has been known to sometimes develop into standard speech. According to Judi Sanders, creator of the College Slang Page, the noun form of slang refers to nonstandard terms or the nonstandard usage of standard terms. It is a kind of informal language that generally follows the grammatical patterns of the language from which it stems, but reflects an alternate lexicon with undertones of familiarity. Slang develops in all parts of speech, including verbs, adjectives and complete reference phrases, which give the speaker a broader range of vocabulary to share thoughts, ideas and experiences. It mingles with standard speech giving it a local and personal flavor. The process of "slanging" involves the creation and use of jargon, and may entail both nonverbal and verbal cues.