Domesticating slang

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 10 15:34:58 UTC 2014

However one feels like defining "slang" (and nobody can stop you), John's
estimate of "well under 1%" is about as close as you're going to get.  If
you're restricting "slang" to formal neologisms like "jazz" and "jeep" and
"OK," you'll go way, way lower than that. Does "blog" count? Why or why not?

King Alfred didn't even know the word "slang," and I doubt he'd judge the
general usage of succeeding generations in anything like that way. (See the
nigh-universally neglected intro to HDAS I.)

Undoubtedly he'd consider it strange and incomprehensible, yet too
extensive and nuanced to be merely "corrupt."  Maybe he'd take a course.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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