Slang In America By Walt Whitman

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Girl used to mean small boy or girl. The word “girl” was not initially used to refer to a specific gender. It used to mean “child” or “young person” regardless of the gender. Obviously, our language has changed and now girl is gender specific and sometimes age specific. This evolution can often be refered to as slang. Slang is often derived from old words with new meanings or completely new words with new meanings. Because of its unstructured nature, many linguists believe that slang is “lazy” English. Walt Whitman, the author of Slang in America, uses a variety of rhetoric devices to prove to the world, especially Americans, that slang is a useful and a necessary development to the English language by using an informative tone.
When beginning his writing, Whitman uses a metaphor
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Throughout the entire writing, Whitman uses multiple metaphors for different reasons. For this metaphor, he writes, “Or, perhaps Language is more like some vast living body, or perennial body of bodies. And slang not only brings the first feeders of it, but is afterward the start of fancy, imagination and humor, breathing into its nostrils the breath of life” (12). With the last metaphor, the last rhetoric device, and the last sentence of his writing, Walt Whitman tells his audience the true purpose of slang. Slang is not a bad thing that he is criticizing Americans for. Whitman doesn’t have a negative tone towards slang or say that slang is just “lazy” English. Instead, he tells his readers that slang is the life of language. It is how we laugh, how we communicate, and how we are unique. This metaphor has a fun effect with the reader’s mind. It allows for the mind to wander and imagine the possibilities of slang through a bit of imagery. That imagination helps Whitman end his writing with a bang. The metaphor that he used proves that slang is something to be cherished because it is the soul of the English

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