If You Can't Change It, Then Accept It.

For the most part, I talk just like those around me, never really had a language barrier. My friends accept the way I talk and so do I, but my parents seem to have another outlook on it.

"Hey mommy, can I have some of your juice?"

"Are you forgetting something?"

"Mom, can I PLEASE have some of your juice?"


"It's not can, it's may." she replies.

"Mom, MAY I PLEASE have some of your  juice?"

"There we go."

They do not speak the most proper grammar and have their slang on certain words, but it's nothing in comparison to how I speak. 

"Old Slang" is what they like to call it. Because my slang is actually present day and not from the '70's, it's "not acceptable" . I didn't grow up in their time and that's what they fail to realize. Anything I say that is slang or a word that may not be found in the Webster's dictionary is "foolish" or "sounds stupid" but it's just how I talk. 

I never grew up speaking the best english because as a child they never corrected me. They waited until I was older and already comfortable with how I spoke to address what they believe is a problem. I see it as them trying to change me . I mean, I talk to a point where it's understandable to practically anyone. Can't that just be enough?

Besides my parents never correcting me, I also went to predominantly black schools in West Philly. With that being said, it can only get so proper. These schools  "attempted" to force proper english upon me with english/grammar classes yet they spoke around us (students) with the least bit of properness. It seems as if I grew up being taught that properness in language was only there to impress, and doesn’t have to be present every conversation. Even currently in high school, properness is seen in essays that I write. I guess that it’s understandable since I’m gonna have to write formal papers in the future such as resumés. But it isn’t forced to make me talk like I’m going to the White House or dinner with an ambassador all the time. 


Around my friends, I don't care to impress and that's why when it comes to language, I don't care as to how proper I sound. To us , slang is like “future english”. So many words that were once addressed as slang are now in the dictionary.  As slang spreads pass neighborhoods and gets a definite definition, it is capable of becoming a word in the Oxford or Webster dictionary .

Even the slang that parents do not seem to approve of may not be in an well known dictionary there has been a dictionary created just for slang and the terms that are being used in this day and age. It called Urban Dictionary (online dictionary). Slang may not be respected by those who are older but the younger generation has been raised around all of the slang and will rarely listen to the proper way that they are suppose to speak because it may not sound correct. 

"Nigga, pass me that jawn next to ya. Nah, not that, the apple juice, dumb ass."

Any and everything can and will be said. It's just how I act around them. I'm comfortable enough with them to hear me talk freely without putting a load of thought into the wording of the statement rather than the content.  

Parents don’t accept the slang we use because in some ways they may find it disrespectful to talk to people with some of the things that we use with the people in our generation. Most parents were brought up with knowing how to speak proper and not being allowed to use profanity or many slang terms with the people that they were around or anyone at all. Parents really may have a problem with the slang and profanity because it can make the person using it look bad as well as it may make their family look bad, because people would think that at home the child using this slang and profanity wasn’t taught the proper way to speak to people at home and may have little or no home training. Parents also may not like the slang and profanity that children use in this day and age because it doesn’t make sense and they may have no clue on it means and wouldn’t know if it is a good or bad term. Also parents don’t like it because if you get to used to something you will use it at all times and parents want their children to talk to adults with respect . If they are always using profanity and slang then they may forget to try and use the proper and respectful language that they were taught to talk to an adult, and if an adult feels disrespected then they may want to take it out on the parent and start an argument due to the way that the child talked to them. 


I understand my mom’s concern for my language, but majority of my language isn’t even profanity, more so just slang. Of course I know how to code switch between my slang  and my proper language, but I don’t understand why my language is expected to be “perfect” at all times. Around my parents, I expect to be comfortable enough to express myself without a chain on my thoughts, not letting me use certain words that aren’t even near profanity. 

“You’re not going to make it out in this world talking like that,”  they said. 

My language is what molded me into who I am today and I’m proud of it if I say so myself. They act as if I’m not going to achieve anything in life just because of my slang, even though I have control over it . Slang surrounds everyone, everywhere and my parents seem to think that it is only me who uses it.  I will be successful, no matter what my language is, because my language is me . If my parents can't change my language, then they might as well accept it .

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