My Evolving Speech Syntax

For a while, I have been studying my speech syntax. I have noticed that In certain situations, my idiolect adapts and alters slightly. There are many words that I frequently use and others that tend to appear in certain conversations, but disappear in others. I have an accent which is a mix between Kent and Essex, as I moved from Essex to Kent, and – from my collect – have picked up the Kenneth accent in addition to my previous Essex one.

This also means that I have picked up words from both areas, however the media is also a large influence on me and how I elk to my group of friends compared with the way I would speak to someone older, such as a teacher.

When I am In conversations with my group of friends, I tend to use different words, such as ‘ratchet’ – meaning ugly or unattractive, which relegated from American slang. Another word we use Is ‘Swag’ which means something along the lines of good and cool, but I think it’s a word we use to fit in and none of us are entirely sure what it means.


These words are usually from the media, but occasionally I am not sure where the come from. I also use words such as ‘legend’ to describe someone that has done something a little out of the ordinary. Or I use ‘memo’ to describe someone whose been sad for a while, an ‘memo phase’. When speaking with my friends, I become lazy and don’t think fast enough, forcing me to use sentence fillers such as ‘like’ and ‘basically’.

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I also use abbreviations such as ‘Dunn’ instead of the more formal ‘l don’t know. Or even words such as YOLK’ – meaning you only live once – when performing a stupid act, which Is abbreviated dramatically. However, when I speak to a person of advanced years, such as a friend of my parents, I would use much more advanced terminology and pronounceable my words In order to sound more formal and more intelligent than I would with a friend of my own. I do this to give good impressions of myself and seem more mature so that the person I am conversing with respects me as I do them, and so that I come across as a young member of society rather than a stereotypical teenager.

I noticed that this happens naturally, and it also naturally happens when I return to my normal speech which includes playing down my intelligence to ‘fit in’ with my friends. I also noticed that while genderless doesn’t tend to change the way I speak (since I don’t use words such as ‘honey’, or ‘babe’. ) it actually seems to affect adults more than teenagers. I noticed that my friends do not use genderless much, however the female adults I speak to often call me ‘Darling’ or ‘sweetie’, and sometimes the males will call me ‘darling’ or ‘bird’ (pretty lady/gal., or simply a lady/gal. – a cockney slang word used often In Essex. . Media is a big impact on the way I speak, and because of the TV shows I watch, my collect tenant to PICK up words Trot tense snows. A word I nave near a lot Is ‘ream’, which is from a show called The Only Way is Essex, and ‘quiche’ which means extremely attractive, which is from Jamie – Private school girl. These words started as a Joke to mock the characters on the shows, but now are used frequently as part of our daily idiolect.

We use these words in our group of friends and would probably never use them with adults because we assume they do not know what they mean, making it easier to use words they already know. Americanism are also used a lot because many TV shows and songs in the media are American. These words include ‘passed’, which is used as a word meaning ‘drunk’ here in England, however the word in American means angry. This meaning has been brought here, and now is used in OTOH terms, however the word is quite a rude so I wouldn’t use it around my parents or other adults.

Taboo language is also a part of my daily idiolect with friends, for example someone would say ‘l haven’t done any of this sit’ meaning ‘l haven’t done any of this stuff. This is normal and wouldn’t be a shock to my friends, so it is used frequently, however when talking to adults, I do not say these words around them unless it is being used subtlety and comfortably, which is very rare. This is because they are still taboo language, and would not be expected or accepted from a child.

I pick up a lot of language at home which I tend to only use with my close relatives, or sometimes it comes as instinct with my friends. My dad says ‘put your feet on’ which simply means ‘put your shoes on’ and I always say it now. Also, my Nan’s partner, Glen, says ‘teeth out time’ when it’s time to go to bed because his mum had false teeth and would take them out while she slept, and this has become a frequently used phrased within my entire family. Another one is ‘spas bowl’ meaning ‘spaghetti’ which seems to have come from Essex, when my parents were young and stuck with our family.

The word is a nick name which is most likely used in many other families, but seems like our own word for it. Paralinguistic are usually used, such as moving your arms while talking to exaggerate a word or sentence. Something I tend to do while with an adult is nod a lot more rather than say ‘yes’, which I think is partly to do with shyness. I also tend to almost act out what I’m saying when telling my friends something, such as if I was to say ‘there was something in his hand’, I’d most likely hold out my hand and point at the palm without even thinking about it.

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My Evolving Speech Syntax. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

My Evolving Speech Syntax
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