what is slang

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Jun 20 17:50:27 UTC 2003

Geoff N said, in reply to mine, what follows below.  I think he may well be
right -- things like "IMHO" and "btw" were invented for writing a sort of
shorthand in a very informal register (email and instant messages), and
function only as written (pretty much), and yet are very like slang if not
actually so.  So we seem to have written slang, from the e-universe.

So I sit corrected.  Now having rethought, in the light of Geoff's examples,
IMHO, slang can be written in origin, sometimes.

Frank Abate

PS: Don't you just love email, and discussion groups (some of the time)?

At 09:53 AM 6/20/2003 -0400, Frank Abate wrote:
>still hold out, saying that slang is fundamentally and essentially oral --
>in its **origin**.  Please reply if you can show that this is not the case.

IMHO there is now **written** slang.  I'm not sure what other category we
could put things like what you see at the beginning of this sentence, not
to mention things like

cu, l8r, ymmv

and all the stuff used in Instant Messaging.  (I note, incidentally, that
Eudora 5.2 did not flag the first two items above (i.e. the spell-checker
didn't underline them), which, I suppose, counts against my claim that this
stuff is slang.  AFAIK linguists haven't classified this stuff yet (but I
may be wrong--I'm a newbie on this list).

Geoffrey S. Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu>
Faculty Liaison, Computing and Information Technology,
Wayne State University


Frank Abate
Dictionaries International
Consulting & Editorial Services for Reference Publications
860-349-5400  [USA access code: 1]
abatefr at earthlink.net

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