An initial 4A N2...?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 30 18:35:10 UTC 2002

In a message dated 06/30/2002 1:18:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU writes:

> Under what definition  of slang are such items (emphatically even) NOT

Such terms are not slang, or as I stated, are NOT slang, when they are
published in a codebook which the employer requires the employees to use
while on duty.  While I do not know who invented the 10- code, I do know that
any number of police departments have required their radio-carrying officers
to use the local variation of the 10- code book.

However, the phrase "home 20" is slang.

I use the word "jargon" to mean "the necessary technical vocabulary of a
particular activity".  Some jargon terms are officially imposed (e.g. the 10-
code) and some develop by a slang-like process, but both are necessary to the
in-group.  Example: the word "homer" in baseball.  With the meaning "home
run" it is slang.  With the meaning "an umpire who favors the home team" it
is necessary technical vocabulary, in this case necessary to avoid having to
use an entire dependent clause to describe an unfair umpire.  (Is there a
term for an umpire who favors the visiting team?)

The 10- code is therefore an example of officially-imosed jargon, at least
with reference to police officers who use it.  CB-ers copied it from the
police and as far as I know use it straight (except for "home 20") rather
than as an ongoing fountain for new slang.

            - Jim Landau

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