I tried using slang in a recent short story of mine about some school boys. I cut it out because to try and make it sound current it sounded stupid to me. I comprised by using a few good old expletives and this worked much better.
Originally posted 15.11.11
This BBC article got me thinking about how words change and why it is important to consider this as a writer.
It is often easy to work out when a book was written by the language used. Some works stand up better than others which get the worst characterization of ‘dated’.
A ‘dated’ work can read awkwardly because the writer has either used a lot of slang that is no longer used, slang that has changed meaning or overly references popular culture or fads which disappear.
The use of slang can make a piece seem current and more realistic at the time of publication. If the slang then becomes outdated as it most often does then the work loses its ‘cool’.
The problem I have is that most my slang is already outdated, things are no longer ‘cool’ to start with, heaven forbid they are ‘groovy’ or ‘funky’. Apparently things now can be ‘dark’ or ‘wicked’ but not all things.
I think, therefore, it will be easier to avoid slang lest my writing become ‘well old, init’.