Another very important aspect to consider when discussing slang is the different situations where we are most likely and most unlikely to use slang. Most people knowthe standard form of their first language and in formal situations such as job interviews most people tend to speak as formallyas possible,avoiding slang usage to give a goodfirstimpression.Another example is that most people tend to speak in a more formal way the firsttimethey meet new people whereas their language tends toloosen up after awhile (Andersson & Trudgill 1990: 71). So the conclusion must be that when a boss speaks more informallyto an employee for the first time the employee has probably advanced in the company.
Even though many people use a lot of slang in their everyday language there is also awareness that it is not “correct” languageusage. Style-shiftingfrom non-standard to standard languageis referred to as overt prestige and is according to Yule (2006: 209) most likely to be used by men and women from themiddle class;women also use it more than men. The opposite of overt prestige is covert prestigeand refers to the phenomenonthat especiallyadolescentsof lower society classesuse non-standard language consciously. According to Yule2006: 210,it is used to show solidarity with their social group by not shifting language-style to sound like another social group.And according to Eble (in Moore 1996:61), three of the most typical functions of slang are to express informality, identify group members and oppose established authority. The point of slang is often to be amusing or shocking (Andersson & Trudgill, 1990: 78).
This is also why the invention of new slang wordsor coming up with alternative meaningsfor already existing wordsis crucial. When words lose their shocking oramusing effect they need to be replaced with new words. This often goes hand in hand with other groups accepting these words and beginning to use them in everyday-language usage. Slang does not differ from other trends but is often invented in big cities and then spreads out to the rest of the country(ibid, 1990: 78). It seems that slang isoften a substitute for swearing or a substitute for other words that are taboo, a phenomenon referred to as euphemisms(Andersson & Trudgill, 1990: 82). Instead of saying “I have to piss”which is not very polite there is a vast numberof slang words that can be used instead, such as, drain the spuds, visit thesand-box, answer nature’s callorgo and look at the crops.
Similarly, many forms of slang for defecatingor using drugs can be found. To many drug dealers slang usage is even a must; an entire conversation about drugs can take place without any outsiders knowing about it. To make this further effective the slang words