The millennial generation has always been known for being self-involved yet lacking independence and having a short attention span. Could we also be blamed for the downfall of the English language? Slang is said to be a type of language consisting of words and phrases that are informal. These words are common in speech but not in writing. As millennials we tend to speak not in properly articulated English which causes the over use of the words such as “like”. I remember the first thing I saw when I walked into my grade 10 English teacher’s class was this phrase: “There is no such thing as wanna or gonna but there is want to and going to”. Most millennials would know that certain English words have been broken or given multiple meanings. This is worrying because if you calculate the 6-7 hours children spend in high school, and the 4 hours tertiary students spend in lectures, within 24 hours the period in which they speak proper English is getting less and less. The over exposure to languages such as Ebonics slang or any other slang in that particular region, not taking away any legitimacy of the languages, results in the adoption of the language as the English language due to its apparent similarities.  It is these minor tweaks that we make when speaking English that result in us not being able to speak the language properly or start including words that are none existent in the language. Due to the popularity of the African movies, a friend of mine decided that she will start speaking in a faux Nigerian accent and this was a habit that was adopted by many in our school at the time. This resulted in many people speaking that way to each other and what many didn’t realize was how much it would impact their school presentations. My friend had become so accustomed to breaking certain English terms that she ended up not being able to speak in the required formal manor. This was when I realized the impact adoptions such as slang have in the authenticity of the English language.

 

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