Slang to Poetry

“Use correct grammar.  I’m tired of that slang, you need to speak proper English.  Where do you think slang is going to get you?  No professional baseball players talk with slang.  You need to sound like you’re educated.”

“Ok mommom, I will try to speak correctly from now on.  I don’t mean any disrespect but, I don’t see how you expect me to just drop the way I speak.  I have been speaking this way my whole life, it is not just something I can forget about.”

My grandmother is kind of strict on “talking correctly.” I don’t like getting told that I don’t speak correctly because it is the way I talk and I don’t want that to change.  I want people to accept the way I speak, and not criticize me for it.  Clearly everybody in the world speaks differently.

I know that a lot of people go back and forth with speaking differently to their friends and the way they talk to their parents, but I can honestly say that I speak with my friends the same exact way I speak to my parents. Except, I don’t curse at my parents.  My dad sort of speaks the same way I do, so it does not bother him. My mom just accepts it and she does not care as long as she can understand me. A regular conversation with my dad would be something like this…

“Yuurrrpppp, Pops where you at?”

“Wassup, how was school”

“No bad, same old same old.”

“Yeah I feel you.  I been chillin all day yamean.”

“Yeah I wish I could do that. (Chuckles) But wassup with dinner doe?”

When I talk to my friends we usually greet each other like this…

“Yuurrrpppp.  Wassup bro.”

“Chillin… Yo bro I’m hungry.”

“You tryna go to the store?”

“We out!”

The way I talk doesn’t change based on who I’m speaking to.  Of course when  I’m speaking to an adult or one of my elders I will speak more polite but when I’m talking to my parents and friends my speech is mostly the same.  

I grew up in North Philadelphia. I lived in the same house my entire life. I’ve never lived in an area where there has been different accents or different forms of slang.  Even though I have been to places where they don't speak the same as me, I have never stayed around it long enough for it to have an effect on me.  At a young age, hearing how my parents spoke, and listening to how people spoke around me, kind of formed the way I speak and the terminology I use.  I personally believe that whatever you grow up hearing or whatever you grow up around will form the way you speak.  As much as people try to change the way they speak, they always have a way to go back to their roots.  Say someone gets in an argument, I hear people say things like this all the time…. “I tried to be nice and polite but they kept pushing me and the North Philly side of me came out.” or the Brooklyn side or the Oakland side etc.  So people can try to change the way they speak but there is always a way that they find themselves right back to their roots.

People say I use “ghetto” English, and they have the right to voice their opinion, but to me it is not ghetto English. To me it is normal English and I’m sure a lot of people think the way they speak is normal English too.  I just think that if their is so many forms of a language, no matter it be English, Spanish, German etc. how can there be one type of a language that is normal or regular?  Language as a whole is evolving, and we as people can’t just be stuck in one time zone and try to be normal, we need to evolve with it.

Comments (6)

Kaamil Jones (Student 2018)
Kaamil Jones

I learned that you speak the same way at home as you do at school and with everyone. I think that's really cool because you're breaking the standards and being who you are and not what society tells you, you have to be. I learned that being yourself is okay and some people are going to accept it and some people aren't. I like that I can total imagine your conversations.

Joshua Turner (Student 2018)
Joshua Turner

I think the way you speak is perfectly fine. No one should judge the way you speak. To be honest, I don't think it is "ghetto" English. It sounds just regular English to me personally. Who cares what other people think. You should embrace it. If anyone says you don't speak right, just ignore it. The way you speak makes you unique.

Kara Lazorko (Student 2018)
Kara Lazorko

I learned that the common slang you use everyday is normal to you and the people you hang around. The "big understanding" I get from this is that everyone has their own individual way of learning. I liked the how you put the comparison between a normal conversation with your dad and a normal conversation with your friends.

Taytiana Velazquez-Rivera (Student 2018)
Taytiana Velazquez-Rivera

1) I learned that you think your language is completely normal and I agree. Everyone has something a little different about the way that the speak and that's normal for them. 2)My big understanding from what you wrote is that our environment is what made your language and you have no problem with always using your North Philly terminology. 3) I like this story because I can relate about how we speak differently in North Philly, than people in like center city. I liked how you compared the conversations you have with your Dad and the conversations you have with your friends.

Alexander Gomez Torres (Student 2018)
Alexander Gomez Torres

I learned alot about the author in this article and how he speaks ghetto. He believes that his kind of English is normal to him. What he was trying to say in this article was that he believes he cant change the way he speaks and says language is changing so we need to change with it. I liked the concept and what you were trying to say had a minor impact on how viewed language. "Yameant"

Eli Block (Student 2018)
Eli Block

I learned that you aren't going to change your speech for other people even if they don't like it. I got that its okay to speak however you speak and you should embrace it. I liked the dialogue in the writing.