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Taboo language and slanguage

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

ENGLISH HOME LANGUAGE

Grade 5

THAT SINKING FEELING

Module 25

TABOO LANGUAGE AND SLANGUAGE

TABOO LANGUAGE

(Socially unacceptable language)

This is the use of expletives / use of “filthy” language.

How would you explain the meaning of “filthy” language to someone who did not understand the term?

In all societies there are certain words which are considered taboo. Taboo is a Tongan word which means “acts that are forbidden or to be avoided, or reference to these acts.” Some words are taboo because they refer to religious customs.

In our culture, taboowords or socially unacceptable language can be defined as:

  1. using the Lord’s name in vain;
  2. calling people by the names of private body parts;
  3. referring to body parts in a crude fashion;
  4. talking ‘dirty’
  5. (can you add to this list?)
  1. Who would use this type of language?
  2. When would this type of language be used?
  3. Why would people speak this way?
  4. Where/In which situations would this type of language be used?

[LO 1.7; 2.4.4; 6.5]

SLANGUAGE

(Slang language)

Almost everyone uses slang on some occasions. Slang can be defined as “one of those things that everybody can recognize and nobody can define.” The use of slang introduces many new words into the language by combining old words into new meanings, or an entirely new word. Words are ‘slang’ when they have not gained total acceptability.

An introduction to language by V Fromkin and R Rodman

  1. Do you know what the following words mean, or how they would be used?
Table 1
to be spaced out to barf grass / pot to ‘split’
have a hang-up to be pooped something is cool the fuzz
  1. Slang words, after a while, can be accepted as ‘regular’ words. The following are now accepted into normal language (what do they mean?):
Table 2
TV  
hot-dog  
belly-button  
once in a blue moon  
  1. You have been asked to help compile items for a new dictionary of slang. List five slang words that you know, and provide a short definition for each word:

(a) – (e)

[LO 1.3; 2.4.1; 6.5]

Spelling and Vocabulary

SHIP-WORDS!

  • Use more than one dictionary to find these answers:
  • What do we call any large sea-going vessel? (sh_ )
  • Ship-fever is also known as _
  • Ship’s biscuit can be described as a _ biscuit.
  • If you belonged to the ship’s company, you would be a member of the _
  • Somebody who constructs ships, is known as a sh_
  • If you were the shipmaster, you would be the _ of the ship.
  • If your room is neat, trim and tidy, it would be sh _
  • Another word for shipment, is _
  • The place where ships are built and repaired, is a sh_
  • The slope on which a ship is built and from which it islaunched, is called the sh_

CHALLENGE!

What animal is known as “the ship of the desert”?

What does it mean when someone says “my ship came in / home”?

What is a “shipboard romance”?

WORDS ENDING IN -SHIP

  1. closeness, rapport, the relationship between friends f_
  2. suffering, misery, distress, unhappiness, bad luck h_
  3. wooing, liking, loving, flattering and treating someone you want to marry c_

[LO 3.11]

The really big love boat story

(by Fiona Chisholm – About the movie – TITANIC)

Read this extract taken from Arts and Entertainment, Cape Times, Friday, 19 December 1997. Some words in the extract have been left out and replaced with a number; other words have been printed in bold and underlined.

TITANTIC. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates and Gloria Stuart. Directed by James Cameron.

This Titanic takes a long time to …(a)… . In fact, the three-hour movie lasts an hour longer than the real-life tragedy, which occurred when the “unsinkable” ship split in half on her maiden voyage of April 15, 1912 and sent 1500 souls to their deaths in the icy North Atlantic.

Not that director James Cameron’s epic is an actuality account. It is about a romance between two young people, Rose deWitt Bukater (Kate Winslett) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) from different social backgrounds, who fall in love on board the Titanic and who share the drama of the ship’s collision with an iceberg and the resultant confusion, chaos and tragedy.

The story of their brief, forbidden, love affair unfolds as a flashback told by a wrinkled old lady of 102 (played by 87-year-old Gloria Stuart) who was that once-beautiful Rose.

She tells her tale to a pair of brash treasure hunters involved in a salvage operation to cream any bounty they can still find from the watery innards of the two giant pieces of the ship which, in 1985, were found 4000 m below the surface.

What interest them particularly is her knowledge of a fabulous diamond necklace which they expected to find in the …(b)… of on the first class …(c)…, but which was missing when they finally succeeded in bringing that safe to the …(d)… .

… The old lady and her love affair which saved her from remaining a pampered girl in a gilded cage, engaged to a spoilt rich brat Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), is sensitively told.

And the convincing acting partnership developing between Winslet as the feisty Rose in first-class and DiCaprio, as the free-spirited and daring Jack in …(e)…, makes the improbable story work. Cameron has overplayed the strict social class system and the luxury on board the Titanic but underplayed the historically-known bunglings which contributed to the loss of life. He does make it clear that there were far too few lifeboats (more would have cluttered up the decks) but, almost as a throwaway line, lets it be known that there were no binoculars on the bridge.

The special effects are, however, excellent. Not so much the extended scenes of the water rushing into the cabins, …(f)…, passageways and smashing all before it, scenes which have been done before, but in the images of this huge ship gradually sinking lower and lower into the water before splitting in two.

In its final death throes, the Titanic’s …(g)… lifted 80 m out of the water and stood almost vertical to the ocean’s surface like the tail of a giant whale, before it crashed into the sea. Being an extra in the show must have been tough. Specially in those frenzied moments when people fought for a place on board the lifeboats ; or fell into the water from a dizzy height ‘ or floated in their life jackets as corpses snow white with cold. These sequences were filmed in an enormous tank and they feel like the real thing. Other telling moments are in the fiercely-hot engine rooms, where blackened men like galley slaves shovelled coal into furnaces to drive the ship to even greater speeds, for the satisfaction of their master dining in style in the first class.

The tragedy of the Titanic will always move and sadden.

(Adapted slightly from the article)

  1. Each one of the following answers begins with an –s. Clues are given to help you.
    1. (a) down; go lower; disappear; drop to the bottom of the sea
    2. (b) a strong lockable cabinet for valuables
    3. (c) a set of rooms in a hotel, or on board the ship
    4. (d) the top of; the skin; the boundary
    5. (e) the part of the ship allotted to passengers travelling at the cheapest rate (st_ _e)
    6. (f) a large room or hall; a public room on a ship (sa_ _n)
    7. (g) the rear part of the ship or boat
  1. What would you use the following items for?
    1. (a) lifeboats
  2. binoculars
  3. a cabin
  4. a life jacket
  5. Explain in your own words – what each of the following mean. (Verbal exercise).
Table 3
real-life tragedy maiden voyage on board
chaos treasure hunter salvage operation
bunglings loss of life special effects

[LO 2.4.2; 3.11]

  1. Match the word to the correct meaning. Use a ruler and rule a connecting line.
Table 4
  1. (a) drama
a reward; gratuity; prize; treasure
  1. (a) collision
the superstructure on a ship from which the Captain and his officers direct the operations
  1. (a) confusion
smash/crash; violent impact of a moving body with another
  1. (a) bounty
a dead, usually human, body
  1. (a) luxury
disorder; disarray; chaos; pandemonium; shambles
  1. (a) decks
section in a ship housing the machinery/engine
  1. (a) bridge(ship)
an exciting or emotional set of events or circumstances
  1. (a) float
great comfort; grandeur; extravagance; richness; lavish
  1. (a) corpse
a platform/floor in a ship covering all or part of the hull’s area
  1. (a) engine room
bob; coast; drift; waft

[LO 3.11; 4.4.1]

Assessment

LO 1

LISTENINGThe learner will be able to listen for information and enjoyment, and respond appropriately and critically in a wide range of situations.

We know this when the learner:

1.3 identifies features of oral texts (structure, language, tone, register, etc.) that make them appropriate for different purposes and audiences;

1.6 listens actively, considering other points of view, and responds with sensitivity to ideas and suggestions;

1.7 dicusses the social, moral and cultural values, attitudes and assumptions in oral texts, and comments on what is included and excluded (e.g. “Is the moral of the story true for all circumstances? What circumstances are not covered in this story?”).

LO 2

SPEAKINGThe learner will be able to communicate effectively in spoken language in a wide range of situations.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 communicates experiences, ideas and information in different and fairly challenging contexts for different audiences and purposes:

2.1.1 uses language thoughtfully for interpersonal communication (e.g. praising someone’s efforts, disagreeing with someone);

2.2 uses interaction strategies to communicate effectively in group situations:

2.3 uses appropriate body language and presentation skills:

2.4 uses appropriate language for different purposes and audiences:

2.4.1 uses language with the appropriate register in less familiar situations;

2.4.2 uses grammatical structures and idioms that are appropriate for the purpose;

2.4.3 uses language carefully to express complex but common emotions such as anger, impatience, sympathy, admiration.

2.4.4 identifies and challenges discriminatory use of language.

LO 3

READING AND VIEWINGThe learner will be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and to respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts.

We know this when the learner:

3.1 reads a variety of South African and international fiction and non-fiction for different purposes (e.g. peoms, book reviews, short novels, newsletters, reference books);

3.1.1 reads independently, selecting appropriate reading and comprehension strategies for the purpose;

3.1.2 skims to get the general idea;

3.1.3 scans for specific details;

3.1.5 uses previous knowledge or textual clues to determine meaning and make inferences;

3.1.6 predicts content or ending;

3.1.8 reads aloud clearly, adjusting speed according to purpose and audience;

3.3 describes and analyses emotional response to texts;

3.9 understands and responds appropriately to a range of information texts:

3.9.2 reads and carries out fairly complex instructions, and follows directions with minimum assistance;

3.10 interprets and discusses more complex visual texts (e.g. tables, charts, posters, bar graphs, maps) and can change text from one form to another (e.g. a table of data into a graph);

3.11 selects relevant reading material and applies reseach skills to find information in dictionaries, reference books and textbooks from community sources or electronic media (where available).

LO 4

WRITING

The learner will be able to write different kinds of factual and imaginative texts for a wide range of purposes.

We know this when the learner:

4.1 writes different kinds of texts for different purposes and audiences:

4.1.1 writes for personal, exploratory, playful, imaginative and creative purposes (e.g. diary, humorous anecdotes, story, poem);

4.1.3 writes and designs visual texts expressing information clearly and creatively (e.g. advertisements, newsletters, map with pictures and labels);

4.2 develops and organises ideas through a writing process:

4.2.1 explores and analyses a topic and brainstorms ideas using mind maps, flow charts, and lists;

4.2.2 develops the topic by consulting relevant sources, selecting relevant information and organising ideas;

4.2.3 produces a first draft with central idea and well-developed supporting paragraphs;

4.2.4 uses simple, compound and complex sentences with awareness of the specific purpose and audience;

4.2.5 revises work focusing on content, appropriate language, organisation and style, and uses feedback from classmates and / or teacher;

4.2.6 proofreads and corrects final version;

4.2.7 submits final draft and reflects on assessment of the piece;

4.4 applies knowledge of language at various levels:

4.4.1 word level;

4.4.2 sentence level;

4.4.3 paragraph level;

LO 6

LANGUAGE STRUCTURE AND USEThe learner will know and be able to use the sounds, words and grammar of the language to create and interpret texts.

We know this when the learner:

6.1 works with words:

6.1.3 records words in a personal dictionary;

6.1.4 uses phonics and spelling rules to spell words correctly;

6.2 works with sentences:

6.2.3 identifies and uses nouns, pronouns, prepositions, articles and conjunctions.

6.3 works with texts:

6.3.3 shifts from one tense to another consistently and appropriately;

6.6 uses meta-language (terms such as articles, conjunctions, topic sentence, audience, tense, personification).

Memorandum

Slanguage

‘spaced out’ - not totally conscious / unable to pay attention

‘hang-up’ - to have a problem

barf - to throw up or vomit

pooped - exhausted or tired

grass / pot - dagga

cool - if something is ‘cool’, it is accepted or the ‘in’ thing

to ‘split’ - to leave quickly

fuzz - the police

Ship-words

  1. ship
  2. scurvy
  3. dry biscuit
  4. crew
  5. shipwright / shipbuilder
  6. shipshape
  7. shipyard
  8. slipway

1. friendship

2. hardship

3. courtship

The Really Big Love Boat Story

1.

(a) sink

(b) safe

(c) suite

(d) surface

(e) stowage

(f) saloon

(g) keel

2.

(a) to row to safety in the case of a shipwreck

(b) to view far-away things or places from closer

(c) to sleep in

(d) to allow one to float in the water

4. The words have been rearranged so as to fit the meanings :

(a) bounty

(b) bridge

(c) collision

(d) corpse

(e) confusion

(f) engine room

(g) drama

(h) luxury

(i) decks

(j) float

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