Have you ever heard the expression ‘hevege lvago’? Do you know what it means to refudiate something? New English words and expressions are being reinvented and created everyday.
Teenagers are a classic example of a group that has created a new version of English in an effort to make it harder for others to understand them. ‘Backslang’, originally created by pickpocket gangs in Victorian London, includes the use of expressions such as “hevege lvago” which means “hello” and “ovgo kvakay” which means “ok”.
Backslang may sound really complicated to someone who is not familiar with it but it is based on a fairly simple concept. To speak backslang you simply take away the first letter of the word or the first two if they are not vowels, put “ava” in the middle and then put the first letter(s) back on.
Teenagers aren’t the only ones who play with English words, politicians like Sarah Palin enjoys it too. After using the word ‘refudiate’ which doesn’t currently exist in the English language, she posted a comment on her Twitter account to justify its use: “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too”.
It’s true that language evolves over time and new words appear and disappear everyday. However the Telegraph argues that it can be a real gaffe for people like Sarah Palin to invent new words. They argue that people like Sarah Palin or Barack Obama, who invented the verb “to wee-wee”, represent their political party and also their country. If they really want to be persuasive and make the right impressions across the globe, they must speak a very high level of English avoiding any reinvented words.
This applies to business as well where anyone working internationally should be able to speak a high level of Financial English, Insurance English, Legal English or Business English depending of the sector. Imagine that you are going through a court case and need to hire a lawyer. When you arrive at your potential lawyer’s office to meet him you discover that he speaks very poor English. Will you feel confident about his skills to represent your case and understand the complexity of the situation?
Communicaid’s English language training courses will help you to improve your understanding of the English language so you can prepared for new words, expressions and slang in any context. By taking a language training course, you will be able to use the English language correctly and not get stuck in the trap of reinventing words like Cleopatra tried to do when she said: “I shall be window’d in great Rome”.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010