London school bans ‘urban’ slang words

Slang (Def Leppard song)

Slang (Def Leppard song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English evolves, has evolved and will continue to evolve.  It’s only relatively recently for example that spelling was standardised.  Go back to Shakespeare’s time and there would not have been such strictures, and probably just as rich a vocabulary of urban slang of the time.  I suppose the debate is on the importance of tiered English, the richness of the formal, the roughness of the slang (or even vice-versa).


Basically yeah

“Basically, Smith major, don’t start a sentence with ‘basically’, yeah.
And, basically, (note it’s in the second position)
don’t end it with a preposition
and don’t end it with ‘yeah’, yeah.”

“So basically, yeah, it rules like this?”

“Smith major, stop taking the piss.
It ain’t cool in this school,
like cool’s not what rules.
Sup blud, do ye nay ken?
I’ll say it again.
Basically, yeah, it ain’t proper, like,
coz that ain’t wot we woz taught.
Down the hood you can talk
however you like
but here take a hike,
get on yer bike
coz it ain’t the sort of English we like.”

“Wotever.  Chill, man,
far out, cosmic, no need to get aggie.
I’m kerouacked and that’s a fact.
Basically, yeah, it’s all an act,
gotta get the lingo cracked.
I’ve dropped a clanger, yeah.
Wot a wanger, yeah,
but, like, with urban slang, I’m yer man.
Bare clear innit,
if you ain’t in it yer out,
yer not there
and, basically, that ain’t my shout, yeah.”


15th October 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “London school bans ‘urban’ slang words.”  An academy school in south London has banned its students from using slang words and phrases like “bare”, “innit” and “we woz” in an attempt to improve standards of English and clamp down on the use of urban slang.  The school appears to have erected signs that list words which are now banned. They include ‘coz’, ‘aint’, ‘like’ and ‘extra’.  Students are now also barred from starting sentences with the word ‘Basically’ and ending them with ‘Yeah’.  The school’s decision has come under heated and offensive attacks from other users of the Twitter social media site with a user alleging that the Academy was a “white supremacist project with government funding and control of children”


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