The latest podcast episode will be particularly fascinating for those who are forever entranced by American culture and language. My guest, Angie talks about language as a living, and breathing phenomenon that is constantly evolving. She mentions how humans are deliberately creating new words, playing with language, and changing the meaning and shape of words.
The postmodern theme of rupturing the status quo by creating words that capture the moment of that particular time-space reality also pops up through our dialogue, especially when Angie tells us how she often makes up her own definitions of slang words based on how they sound to her when she hears them for the first time.
We discuss how language is nuanced and how slang has multiple meanings depending on the context and the kind of message the person wants to convey through the word. There are so many levels and ways words can be used and it is intriguing how words gain traction, lose popularity, and resurface with slightly different meanings. These words could then reemerge with different connotations or they could be taken on by different groups or subgroups in society.
Angie also explores how words are shared and then spread around both in neighborhoods and on the internet. From this conversation, I really got the impression that Angie sees slang as infinitely playful and dynamic and how language is an important part of her cultural and linguistic identity and the connection she has with her home and birthplace in Los Angeles, California.
Here is the link to the transcript: