Language Arts by eNotes

Start Your Free Trial

What effect does slang have on society?

Expert Answers info

Harrison Murray, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,180 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Slang in itself is neither positive nor negative. Instead, it reflects nuances of language usage that can link speakers to a sense of culture and ancestry. In some cases, it links members of similar ages in generational bonds. And slang constantly evolves as speakers of the language bend language rules to make it fit their needs. Consider the following generational words described to describe something that is really good:

  • The cat's pajamas
  • Far out
  • Groovy
  • Gnarly
  • Wicked
  • Rad
  • Sweet
  • Fire

For just this one idea, it's easy to see how slang can identify people. And that's not an innately bad thing for...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 835 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,272 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write3,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences





Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


rsllsr | Student

Another major issue with slang is that it changes so frequently, so it is difficult for others to understand its context. As a subculture becomes familiar with certain expressions, other subcultures either change the meanings of the expressions or completely lose the original meanings of the expressions. 

bluevelvet09 | Student

I agree with what you said. Creating new ones might bee easier for people who use them more often. Also,  it can lead people to talking informally, which recruiters aren't very ideal on. I think it's best to use slang terms that many people use on a daily basis, but not make up ones and use them incorrectly.

Great article!