It is the use of informal language or local slangs in the literature, which is termed to be colloquialism. The use of colloquialism would help the author easily sneak into the mind of the audience since it is the common language of society. By using the colloquialism examples, the author could easily communicate ideas to the normal audience. In English literature, many of the writers imply the tool of colloquialism intentionally since it provides a realistic touch to the presented work. The use of idioms and aphorism could be classified under the use of colloquialism.
It is from the Latin root word colloquium that the word colloquialism was derived out. It simply signifies the concept of speaking together. The colloquialism is used by the common population in their day to day life. The use of colloquialism could be widely seen in the literature, which implies characterizations and first-person narration.
Basic characteristics of colloquialism
The use of colloquialism is widely dependable on the vernacular used by the regional population. Based on different geographical locations and groups of people, the use of colloquialism keeps on changing.
Language within a language
Colloquialism is actually a sub-language in itself which is derived from a widely used language. Normally dialects are explicitly used by a specific group. It is the specific use of some vocabulary and distinct accent in a language that leads to the formation of colloquialism.
The major example of it could be observed in the variation of English languages used in both the USA and the UK. There is a significant variation in the accent of English used in the UK and countries like India. Colloquialism is so diverse that you could observe hundreds of variations of English dialects in the USA itself. The type of English used in small cities like Louisiana is far different from that of the language used in the city of New York. Geographical attributes could not be solely considered the determinant of colloquialism since it is also unique for a certain section of people. The traditional English used by white shirt Londoners is very different from the harsh variant of English used by the cockney group.
How colloquialism function in a language?
Colloquialism has opened up another scope for literature and writers in particular societies. It is a known fact for the student of literature that the use of colloquialism helps to easily convey strong emotions. It gives a particular texture to the character used in the literature. The literature with appropriate use of colloquialism is highly accepted by the audience since it conveys that the authors have good appreciation regarding the society they are writing about.
Gives life to the drafted piece of literature
When people use a particular language for a long period of time, various dialects and colloquialism generate in society. Each dialect thus becomes an inseparable identity of the society. The use of colloquialism would help the author to relate character with the audience in a much realistic manner. The use of French and Belgian colloquialism could be frequently traced in the detective novels of Agatha Christie.
Different meanings for the same word
In different dialects, the same word sometimes conveys a different meaning. These words are often very common in nature, but they express very different and exclusive meanings in the dialects. Whereas the word pants represent underwear in Britain, the same word represents trousers in the English language used in America. In the same manner, the word coke refers to Coca Cola in the American community, whereas in Britain, it represents any sort of soft drink.
Unique words which are only present in a particular dialect
In many forms of the dialects, you could trace some word which is unique and could not be traced in other languages. The concept of any object, place, or person is denoted using the term jawn by the people of Philadelphia. Such a word is not commonly used by English speakers all over the world.
Let us take the examples of idioms. Whereas the phrase, it’s raining cat and dogs, represents heavy raining all over the world, the people of Louisiana use the phrase it’s raining monkeys to convey the same idea.
How to distinguish colloquialism from Jargon and Slang?
Many people often confuse the concept of colloquialism with jargon and slang.
Such words majorly belong to a specific subject or academic discipline, which is very hard for the unrelated person to understand. Jargons are specifically used by officials working in a specific industry or scholars from a particular discipline. The words like gallery resemble very different meanings in the academic field. It signifies the set of literature or books which still requires to be proofread before publication.
Similarly, Knife pleat is a jargon that is widely used in the fashion industry that connotes the narrow folds created on the wardrobe. Another jargon used in the culinary industry is Mise en place which means that the dish is under preparation.
Slang is the exact opposite of jargon, and they are very informal in nature. Slangs could only be traced in a small group of people who follow a specific subculture. The expression of a wide range of strong emotions could be displayed by the use of slangs. Unlike colloquialism, which is geographically defined, slangs are defined culturally. The use of words like togs for swimsuits and barbie for a barbeque in Australia are some valid examples of slangs in the English language. Let us take the instance of the Hollywood movie Mean Girls. The character of Gretchen often uses the word fetch to display a cool outlook to the character.
Though we have described the distinguishing factors between Slang and Jargon from colloquialism, there are some significant similarities among them. Many scholars even argue that Jargons and Slangs are even variants of colloquialism.
Everyday colloquialism examples
Australian colloquialism examples
British colloquialism examples
Canadian colloquialism examples
American colloquialism examples
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