Do I Sound Familiar ?

Octavius Collins

Do I sound Familiar?


“ I had a dream like Martin Luther lil bit of hope. Say if Rosa never at, and Malcolm never spoke. Prolly catch me the woods hanging from a rope.”


“ Damn Tav who said that?

“Meek Mill.”

“You listen to him?” My friend says in a cautious voice.

“Yea, that’s my boy. (Finishes lyrics)


            Whenever I’m with my friends I tend to speak with a lot of slang. Half the time I don’t complete my words, substitute correct words for slang words and I do a lot of cussing. I speak in a way that defines myself, but I change up when necessary. I think of myself as a “slang slinger.” Sometimes I even talk to my teachers in slang. Trying to teach them something new. I know how to use proper English, & I’ve never been told I say certain things or that I have a problem with my pronunciation.


From my mother’s prospective I talk like “ an angry black teen.” To myself, in a way that identifies myself as a young black teen. My language reflects my childhood. I use words with my friend’s just express a certain feeling or meaning during the conversation. I’m not just full of profanity and slang, like I said I was taught to use proper language, I just chose when it’s appropriate and when I should use it.            


I had a job interview during my freshman year for The Franklin Institute. I manage myself well I as greeted everyone in the room with a “Hello” or “Good Evening.” Questions like:

“Why would you be a good explainer for the PACTS program? What changes could you positively bring to the PACTS program if given this job opportunity? Who do you look up to in the PACTS program and will you step up and take someone else under your wing when you’re apprentice leaves?”

I answered every question, brought up by my fellow explainers, in complete sentences. An individual from the group of explainers and supervisors pulled me to the side and went on about how impressed he was, as a peer of minds, to as how I handle myself in the interview room. He admitted that he didn’t think I had the type of language in me considering the fact that he spent 4 years of his life with me outside of supervision or adults.            

        I’ve learned when and when not to use slang and proper language as I’ve grown up. There has been a time when I was young and I’ve walked up to an older adult such as my grandmother and said

“ wassup.”

“Don’t ever talk to your grandmother like that again!”

That was similar to the response I was given from my mom. 

From the moment on slang coming out of my mouth was only used around my friends but as I got older if I was to use slang around my mom it was I who was joking, playing around. My 8th grade year was when I learned how and when to use proper English. I had to get ready for upcoming interviews so my mom began prepping me. I learned to sit up right when I answered questions. I learned to answer questions in complete sentences, and to keep a positive mindset throughout the whole interview. The more practice I received with and from my mom I by the date of my 8th  grade interviews I was superfluous. Walked in greeted the interviewees with firm handshakes, and continued on with conversations that started like, 

"How are you today?"
"I'm fine yourself?"
"I'm excellent, lets began this interview."

"What made you apply to our school?"
"I applied after reading a brief overview about your school, and then further during research about the school to see if I'd be interested in spending the rest if my years at your school."
For the most part I answered the whole interview with answers like that. I was asked questions further on in the interview about how I could change the school, positive effects I could bring etc. there was a connection between interviews from school and work and how I handled myself. They all consisted of questions that would briefly have me answer and define why and how I could bring change to school/work. " A language which can connect their identity to, one capable of communicating the realities and value true to themselves." To me that quote means, someone who can't be real with themselves as they communicate to others isn't capable of communicating with others.

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