"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Thursday, 3 October 2013


 I have sometimes used the word colloquial to describe words on this blog. I should explain that colloquial does not mean slang.   
Slang is a kind of language occurring chiefly in casual and playful speech, made up typically of short-lived coinages and figures of speech that are deliberately used in place of standard terms for added raciness, humour, irreverence, or other effect; language peculiar to a group; argot or jargon.

Colloquial is often assumed to mean slang but it doesn't.  It simply means as used in a conversational sense; used in ordinary conversation; not formal or literary. Even a look at its synonyms yields ‘everyday’, ‘common’, and ‘idiomatic’ but not slang.  Colloquialisms are therefore perfectly acceptable in conversation whereas slang may or may not be.