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Business Culture: American Slang

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What is slang?

Slang refers to playful speech using colorful phrases or vulgar speech using "bad"words or "curse" words.  Here we are discussing use of the "bad" slang words.

Why do Americans use slang at all?

In modern American culture, the use of slang is almost a rite of passage at colleges, universities and also at the places where young people first work, such as restaurants. It's a symbolic way for a young person to break away from the family and join their generation. The peer pressure is very real, and most people experiment with slang for a period of time. Then they let it go as they begin to think of having kids and the kind of world they want to create.

This is why you often hear slang in movies and TV shows that do one of the following: appeal to teens/young people, express extreme humor, depict people in physically/mentally rigorous circumstances such as war or adventure.

It is also used in movies to show that people are friends. You cannot use slang to anyone who is not your friend unless you do not care if you possibly insult the person.  In movies, they often illustrate friendship through a short scene with the friends speaking some slang.

Slang and business use.

Along the same lines, if you like to meet people for lunch, dinner or drinks outside of work, you may find that some will revert to slang in these informal situations. The intention is often to create informality and show friendship, as if you're a pair of buddies from college. There is no need to incorporate slang into your speech unless you choose it. If you do, keep it outside of the office. Use it at after-work socials and always use it with people who are your friends.

More Business Practice

Business Culture Hierarchy

Business Culture: Using Names

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Business: Getting Time to Think

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The 500 English Words

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The American Accent

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