Custom «Exploring Language » Essay Paper Sample

Exploring Language

The book, Exploring Language [written] by Gary Goshgarian was published in 2009 by Longman Publishing Company, having 592 pages. Various themes appear in the book, including censorship and free speech; the interaction between language and mass media and the world and practice of advertising; the general use of language in mass media; and the spoken language among others. This paper therefore seeks to explore these concepts.

Discussing How Colloquial Language Creates or Obscures Meaning

Among the matters that are debated in this book, is the fact that colloquial language is gaining increased usage given the technological development that is taking place in the IT sector and the manner in which the pervasive use of colloquial language is affecting obscuring meaning in language use.

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Meaning in the use of colloquial language can be obscured through the contraction of different lexicons, in an attempt to create one lexicon. This may cause obscurity in meaning, either in itself, or through ambiguity. The inherent obscurity may arise since there is no clear direct connection between graphemes that have been combined together to make the lexicon and the semantics. The fact that colloquialism is very dynamic underscores and aggravates this situation. For instance, the three lexicons "What", "Is" and "Up" are able to be clipped to form the slang greeting "What's up". However, there is no problem in this clipping as it is the old version of the form of greeting. The newer version is more condensed and more morphologically disassociated from the three lexicons; and thus reads, "Wzup." It is obvious that no one used to the standard version of English, the RPE, Queens English or the Regionless Accent will be able to discern the meaning of the colloquial expression (Crystal, 22).

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Secondly, the manner in which colloquialism may obscure meaning through ambiguity is seen in the manner in which graphetics may be combined to make a word, ostensibly to target a specific meaning, but the result ends up giving two meanings. For instance, in colloquialism, "You" and "All" may be combined and clipped to form the word "Ya'll." Nevertheless, it is also interesting that in some circles, "Ya'll" is used to show acquiescence, agreement or approval.

How Meaning Is Evaluated Within Localized Communities

Meaning is evaluated over localized communities in several ways. This may take place through regional dialects, when meaning to a given word is specific to a given region. For instance, the word "Pants" in British English may be taken to refer to undergarments, while in the US and Canada, the same may simply refer to trousers. The colloquial A&E in British English refers to Accidents and Emergencies, while the same in American English mean Arts and Entertainment (Crystal, 123).

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The same may be seen to be true in the case of social dialects, where the use of language is specific to a given social group or even a social class. Although colloquialism cuts across all social classes so that it is hard to point out certain colloquial lexicons as being a preserve to the poor, the rich, the uneducated or the enlightened, yet, it is a fact that the language being used in online social networks is totally different from the meaning in normal setting. This is the case when one considers words such as LOL, OMG and IMO, which mean laughing out loudly, oh my goodness and in my opinion, respectively (Crystal, 75).

Similarly, there is difference in meaning and usage of words, depending on age, as a form of social construct. While older people (those in their 45s and above) may use the word candy, they may use it denotatively and not connotatively as the young who may use it derogatively to refer one who is sexually and physically attractive (Bryson, 75).

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Colloquialism may also be seen as having suffused its spread even into language register. Language register on the other hand refers to the use of language in a manner that is specific to a particular group. This group may comprise working situations, professions, career, and specialization in education. For instance, while the word "Camel toe" may be of denotative interest to one carrying out documentaries on wildlife or the habitat, the same may have a totally different meaning to pornographers and those who dabble in pornographic literature.

Within larger society

Within the larger society, colloquialism is used when there are no associative forces of the words or phrases with taboo words. To this effect, one may find old words such as "Wonna", "Gotta", "Gonna", not only being still around, but also enjoying usage in a ubiquitous manner. The strategies that are at work in such utterances; if they are language effective, Enabling and Empowering.

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The most common strategy that is used is clipping. This involves the shortening of two words, and then joining the words together. This may call to remembrance, the colloquial expression "Ya'll," a word made by shortening the words "You" and "All" and then joining them together. This is language effective, given that in spoken discourse, phonemes undergo the process the process of assimilation. Similarly, colloquialism may save time. The need for empowering and enabling colloquialism or colloquialism empowering language is untenable due to the rapidly shifty nature of colloquialism which leaves no room for linguistic analysis and description of colloquial expression, in terms of morphology, phonology and semantics.

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