Sunday, November 25, 2007

When printing slang goes wrong....

In today's multi-lingual world, the one aspect of language that can always be counted on to change daily is slang. These words and phrases created by friends, celebrities, musicians, etc. become engrossed in our society's collective lexicon depending on the context and popularity of their use. In the effort to stay in touch with their readers, the print media will try to write their columns with a conversational tone and as such adopt slang words into their written pieces. As this practice continues to pick up more and more steam, the question that nobody seems to be posing is "Where do we draw the line?" Amongst the variety of printed media, I'm going to be discussing magazines because they are my favorite form of media coverage.

Amongst the growing number of magazines currently available on the shelves, there stands one in particular named "Game Informer." Being a desk assistant at dorm on campus, I have unchecked access to magazines that are sent to past residents who have since moved out. During my past desk shift I picked up the latest issue of "Game Informer" and started heavily reading through the columns to catch up on the latest in the video game world. In the main cover story, based around the upcoming Ghostbusters game, the author writes about the demo he plays. During one portion, he writes "The shelf slides aside abruptly, revealing a dank staircase." I'm sorry, did I read "revealing a DANK staircase?!" Maybe he meant, a staircase instead and the editor accidentally missed this error. Then again, maybe the author did intend for this use of the slang word "dank" to be used in his description. For those at home keeping score, the word dank is a slang term that refers to how awesome or high quality something is, usually used to describe food & drink as well as the quality of a quantity of weed.

But what's this?! Upon researching Webster's dictionary, the word dank existed in a proper form before becoming a slang term. And what's more, among the definitions listed for the word dank is one saying "unpleasantly moist or humid; damp and, often, chilly: a dank cellar." OOPS! Shite, I messed up. Okay, okay, so I made a mistake. The author in the Game Informer column used "dank " in the correct context and I have now ended up with proverbial egg on my face. Despite this foul-up I am still concerned about the misuse of slang in printed form as I still maintain my stance that there are some slang words or phrases that should only belong in verbal discourse and never written form. There, that's all I was trying to say. Better luck next time....

2 comments:

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