I have no problem with colloquialisms or expressions. Hell, I think everything is "awesome" or if it's really great it can be "teh aw3some". I call people "bro" way too much and I'm "rockin" a little too often for my own safety. I say "whoa nelly", "gadzooks" and even "egads". I make no apologies. These words fit my personality. But there is some slang that doesn't fit me at all. Read on.
Slang is defined as "nonstandard words or phrases which tend to originate in subcultures within a society" or "phrases familiar within a group or subgroup".
Within these groups exist even smaller subgroups; each with their own respective parlance. Back in the Bronx we'd greet each other with "Ay! Oh!" and in response: "Oh! Ay!" Texans say "Howdy, ya'll." In Boston things are "wicked awesome" and "wicked bad".
But here's where I get irked: I have a problem when one subgroup tries to commandeer another's lingo.
There are a
couple of guys I "know" who insist on calling each other (and everyone else) "dog". "What's
up dog!" "Let's roll, dog!" "That shit is wack, dog."
These are white guys. Middle-class white guys. Who work for a mortgage bank.
Fellas, "dog" is for Americans-of-African-descent. It's not for you. Ever. And "that shit is wack"? I don't know. You lost me at your first "dog".
Urban expressions and street-talk can certainly be enjoyed by white people, but they can not be used by white people. We are not down with the hype tip, g-money grip. See? See what I mean? How ridiculous did I sound just then?
Let's, as Caucasian-Americans, appreciate the "shizzle" and the "nizzle" from afar. Let's cherish the "bee-atch" from a distance. And let's be charmed by "pimpin' hos" as spectators only. Let's never adopt these terms as our own.
You'll never hear American blacks saying that movie was "bitchen" or "boss" or "rad". You'll never catch an urban youth calling another a "putz" or a "kvetch" or even a "shmendreck". A boy from the ghetto won't exclaim "rats!", "good grief!" or "fiddlesticks!"
They respect the boundaries of the lexical subgroup. Shouldn't we all?