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Colloquialisms, Idioms, & Slang<br />Whazzup? How’s it going? Sup, Dawg?<br />As taken from the Supplementary readings, these colloquialism are not meant to dumb down speaking, however are not used in what is known as Formal Speaking.<br />According to “Making Sense of English: An Introduction to American Slang, Colloquialisms and Idioms” by Shelley Motz, many international students master the English language. However, they have trouble understanding some conversations.<br />
The reason is (ESL) or English as a Second Language. According to the article, “ESL classes cannot adequately prepare these students for the everyday use of slangs, <br />idioms, and<br /> colloquialisms.”<br />
Slang<br />What is Slang?<br />According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, slang is “very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid and ephemeral than ordinary language”.<br />
Idioms<br />An idiom is an expression “whose meaning is not<br />predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent<br />elements…or from the general grammatical rules of a<br />language”.<br />As Mark Algren, Language Specialist at the Applied English Center of the University of Kansas, observed sports idioms are among the most common in everyday speech in the US.<br />What are some of the sports idioms you are likely to hear? What do they mean?<br />
Examples of Idioms<br />Drop the ball: make an error or mistake<br />Get your feet wet: start a new project cautiously<br />Know the score: know the facts about something in particular<br />Out in left field: offbeat or unusual<br />Team player: someone who <br />works well with others to achieve <br />a goal<br />
Colloquialism<br />What is a Colloquialism?<br />A colloquialism is “characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing”. Colloquialisms often reflect regional characteristics; a phrase that is commonly understood in the South, for example, may not be recognized in other parts of the US.<br />
Helping Students<br />According to the article, it’s recommended that students, especially international students keep a vocabulary log. This would be essential and beneficial for students to write down certain phrases or words they don’t quite understand.<br />Also keep track of how many times they hear the expressions used in order to understand what conditions they are used.<br />