Sometimes I wonder if George Orwell had a time machine. The man was genius. Nostradamus had nothing on this man. That one novel of his, 1984, was a haunting prophecy of things to come. I don’t really believe he actually prophesised anything but rather he was a very clever man who could probably see where society was going, or at any rate he was just very lucky and picked the right content.
My friend from university, David mentioned that modern internet language has stark similarities with George Orwells ‘newspeak’ from 1984. I can’t recall any specific examples right now, but I knew in my mind that he was right. There is a whole sub-language out there, spoken in inner city areas. It varies from city to city, but the principle is the same. The internet has influenced the written form of this slang, and has helped to propogate and spread the slang. It is an interesting conjecture, and perhaps one I shall probe if I am ever bothered to do so.
Wag1 geezahs u chillin n tha. kwl kwl. sfe cuzzy bros i g2g but link up soon inneh?
Growing in inner city Birmingham eh? Am I here ‘reppin’ Small Heath, Sparkhill and Alum Rock? No. Rather, I have decided to ramble on about language. English language to be exact. Well… it is what you can loosely call English I would imagine, or are we witnessing the birth of a new dialect? It is what we would refer to as slang but I can’t help but to wonder if this kind of speaking, with the help of the internet of course, could somehow become a mainstay in Britain. It may well not, and personally I hope not. Due to my experiences, I have come to associate this language with gang culture - though that is only an involuntary association. I am not one to tarnish everybody with the same brush, and can say that I have met some positively delightful people who use this method of speaking. The language doesn’t make the idiot (unless it is some kind of idiot language, of course). The language is simply picked up by those exposed to it.
Another interesting aspect of language I feel like exploring in this post is profanity. Something which is embedded into language and culture as raisins are, in a currant bun. In my early teens I would swear a fair bit, but then during my GCSE’s years I stopped swearing. Swears felt somwhat odd on my tongue, though I had no problem with other people swearing I simply couldn’t bring myself to swear - unless something majorly terrible had happened, in which case use of an expletive was unavoidable. Then, towards the end of A2 year in college, swears started resurging in my language, if only under my breath at first. They became more and more prominent right up until part way through first year of university, where I started swearing openly, should the situation or conversation at hand have required me to. Most likely because of the increased pressure from the frankly difficult work that was set (not that I’m complaining at all, I relish the challenge). I don’t just swear willy nilly, mind. There must be a reason. For instance, the situation concerning idiotic Nationalists (though I do not mean ALL nationalists by this by the way, some or even many (though I haven’t personally met ‘many) are genuinely nice people) or the situation between Israel and Palestine tends to cause me to bring my arsenal of swears to the front line.
But enough about my life story. What is the deal with swearing? If used correctly, they can really hit a point home, and emphasise the meaning of the statement. If used in excess, they’re liable to get annoying - or else make you sound like you’ve got a major chip on your shoulder about everything. Though if you do indeed have a chip on your shoulder about everything, I express my deepest sympathies. If somebody who doesn’t usually swear uses a swear at the right moment in an emphatic statement - it really sounds serious.
Swears can act as ‘sentence enhancers’ to quote Patrick from popular kids show ‘Spongebob Squarepants’. Yeah. I said it. Spongebob Squarepants. I love that show, It’s great. And I must say, some episodes, especially the earlier ones right from the very beginning, were quite risky in the subjects they covered - or remarks characters made… but that’s another topic all together. Got to give it to the starfish though; when used correctly, swears are sentence enhancers. Let us look past the whole ‘U waysteman I fuckd ur mom’ and other vulgarities. Swearing and slang have always gone together, and the slang tends to lessen the impact of the swear. It’s why they need to construct unsavoury scenarios concerning the opposing party in order to garner a sufficient reaction. ‘Fuck You’ alone isn’t really enough anymore in the slang world. Now that I think about it, ‘Fuck You’ isn’t enough in normal English either. It can even have friendly connotations. Swears liven up our language, and really do act as sentence enhancers. Though, it is down to context.
At least, this is what I have learned. Some of it is obvious. Some isn’t. Doesn’t make for the most lively reading, and I may have taken all the fun out of swearing - but this felt like the right thing to ramble about today. One day I’ll get it right. Yeah. One day I’ll write something amazing that will capture the hearts and imaginations of my readers. But until then, I’ll just stumble around looking for the right subject.
And fuck me if I don’t find that right subject.
Sitting in this position is FUCKING uncomfortable!