An initial 4A N2...?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Jun 30 20:05:49 UTC 2002

>I don't follow this, especially since the "technical vocabulary" you
>cite is then restricted to "with reference to the Xs who use it."
>What about the rest of us?

More importantly, if anyone publishes a book which employees must
learn words or terms from have those items "lost" their slang status
by that means alone?

That "homer" (home-team favoring unmpire) is not slang is very odd to
me. It is not "necessary" in any sense except that those who deal
with baseball must know it. I think there is a confusion here of
slang which is slang but is jargon at the same time technical speech,
or jargon, which is not slang. And history, of course, can always
muddy things.


>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

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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