November 20, 2009

Homework #32

The increasing use of colloquialisms (slang expressions) is degrading the English language. A phrase such as "she was like, 'No way!', you know?" - a meaningless collection of English words just a few decades ago - is commonly understood today to mean "she was doubtful." No language can have such imprecise word usage without a corresponding decrease in the quality of expression.

The argument relies on which one of the following assumptions?

A. Colloqualisms (slang expressions) always evolve out of a meaningless collection of words.

B. The slang expressions in common use today make the English language imprecise on a large scale.

C. The Russian, French and German languages do not contain as many colloquialisms as English.

D. The English language would not lose any of its quality or precision if there were no alternative, informal way to say "she was doubtful."

E. The widespread use of slang expressions is the worst thing that could possibly happen to the English language.