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Slang at SSSAS

Throughout time, language has been a vital element for communication. Although it has changed, no matter where you visit, every society and culture has a language. In today’s day and age language has evolved even more, whether it be while texting, talking, or commenting on social media. These various forms of communication are impacted by social media, more than anything. And because of that, it’s possible to tell someone’s generation, or age . For instance, you can tell a millennial from a Gen Z’er from the way they text and abbreviations they use when typing. So much so that there are even trends when it comes to “lingo” and “slang.”

Before we get into what slang is being used, let’s backtrack to what slang is, why it is used, and how it goes in and out of style over time. A 2005 PBS article titled “The Power of Slang” quotes poet Walt Whitman describing slang as “The start of fancy, imagination and humor, Breathing into its nostrils the breath of life.” The article goes on to assert that the reason we use slang is because it establishes similarities and makes people feel like they have something in common. 

To get a better understanding of how students use slang, we interviewed Dior Brown,  a freshman at SSSAS. Dior is relatively isolated from social media apps that are normally used, meaning that the slang and language she’s encountered are typically in person. She said that she usually uses and hears “Bop,”  “Slay” and “Hey girl” amongst her friends. She also talked about what she doesn’t like hearing is “Chat” and “TikTok rizz party.” She also mentioned how she doesn’t like “glob,” which is a slang word used for the gym lobby here at SSSAS. Dior responded negatively to the term “glob” and said,“No, I just don’t like it. But typically, if you say lobby, people will know the gym lobby. Unless you say like the main lobby just depends on where you’re going.”

In contrast to Dior, we interviewed Tawon Figaro, a sophomore at SSSAS, about slang at our school and his opinion on slang he hears. We started by asking him his opinion on slang he uses. He answered by saying he uses the words “rizz” and “cooked” with some frequency. Tawon also mentioned that he hears the word “glob.” He had similar opinions to Dior about the use of “glob” and how he doesn’t get why it’s used. Another school slang word he said he hears is “Staggies,” which is for the Steve and Aggie’s store. Lastly, we asked about what slang he doesn’t like, and he said “like brain rot stuff like skibbidy Ohio phantom tax Rizz and Gyatt.”

We also sent out a poll to the students to ask the same questions. Across the board, we received a lot of similar responses throughout the questions. We asked similar questions to what we asked Tawon and most of their responses correlated with what Tawon said. One thing that stuck out was the term “brain rot” like “Skibidi Toilet, Rizz, Gyatt” and how Gen Z does not claim or use this slang. Some responses classified it as Gen Alpha. 

In the poll some questions we asked were “What slang do you use?”, “What slang do you not like?”, and “What slang do you feel is overused?”. Some people said they liked popular slang like, word, crash out, rizz, cooked, gagged, lowkey, sus, popped off, gyatt etc; however, a lot of people said that they didn’t like certain slang like: rizz, Gyatt, bop, crashout, slay, and skibbidy. More particularly, rizz and gyatt, were mentioned a lot. In both the category for liked slang and disliked slang, which shows that slang is subjective and people have differing opinions on it.

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