Ban slang? Good luck with that.

What’s with the sudden push to ban things?  First fat gags, now slang.  Are people banning things for advent?


In this excellent article slang and its place in the English language is explored.  There’s no point me re-writing the article here – have a read, it really is brilliant – I’m wondering what commercials would be like in a world where slang has become accepted into mainstream English – the kind that’s used for broadcast on radio or the telly.

Commercial gain

Can you picture it?  A beautifully shot food ad, the camera slowly panning over gorgeously-lit, sexy-looking, steamy comestibles which gently tumble onto pristine, hand-crafted crockery…just like the popular M & S TV commercials…

“Bitchin’ chicken in a white wine sauce, innit.  Mint gravy made from hot and bangin’ stock.  Tender, well chung carrots, cooked, like, nanging.  And for laters, bare, fine and peng sticky toffee pudding, served with the creamiest Devon angel-phlegm.  Word!  It’s well sik. And it ain’t much green, no.  You’d have to be like serious four oh four not to, like, want it.  So get it, geeza.  Whateva.”

Language evolves

The English language, like our own poor human form, has evolved over time.  And it will continue to evolve.  Nothing can stop it.  The English language is like a glacier; slowly it moves across time, relentlessly scoring its path across the social landscape, taking whatever it rips up with it on its journey.

Modern English is a slag pit of many languages, as a result of our social history; the Norman Conquest, the invasion of the Vikings, Latin, Greek, a ragbag of words accumulated through the acquistion of The British Empire, new technology – all these things and many more besides – mean that new words become used by English-speakers around the world all the time.  As the world changes, so does our language.

And to suggest ‘banning’ a kind of language not only gives it a sort of subversive cachet, it’s also a complete waste of time and energy.

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Emma Clarke

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