Conversational English: Slang, Colloquialisms, Clichés, ETC.
From theUWF Writing Lab’s 101Grammar Mini-Lessons Series
Conversational English is “bad English” for academic and professional writing. Conversational English usually consists of the following:SlangColloquialismsClichés
Slang is astyle of language characteristic of given localities, age groups, time periods, and cultural and socialgroups.Slang may be used effectively in informal and formal speech and writing, as long as the slang expression is set off in quotation marks to indicate the usage is intentionally informal.
Examples of Slang
Here are some common slang expressions that may or may not still be in use:adrag (uninteresting)pigging out (eating)chill out (relax)ratted out (told, divulged)fed up (tired of)
A colloquialism is an expression that is chiefly spoken- it is the vernacular; that is, its usage should be reserved for very informal spoken occasions, not for writing.Colloquialisms are generally thelanguage of everydayspeech.
Examples of Colloquialisms
Anyways (anyway)A bunch of people (a number of people)We have a deal (We have an agreement)Fixing to leave (preparing to leave)Kid, kids (child, children)Okay, o.k., ok (all right)Pretty good (very good)
Clichés are oncecolorful expressions that have become trite,worn-out,andoverworked through overuse.A cliché shows no originality on the part of the writer or speaker. Clichés cause the reader to anticipate the writer’s words:Last but…, for instance, used in a list to introduce the last item, automatically suggestslast but not least.
Examples of Clichés
Tipof theicebergCrystal clearBeenthere, donethatA method to this madnessAll in allEasier said than doneRipe old ageCool as a cucumberAfter all is said and doneBelieve it or not