Chill on the slang in the workplace

Illustration by Miles Huffman

As dope as slang may sound in casual conversation, slang is just that — casual.

As students transition from backpack to briefcase, they need to leave slang where they found it — on the playground.

Slang is a language of its own. A language of words abbreviated and combined or made up altogether.

In the streets and in the schoolyard, a smooth and clever use of slang is respectable. However, most people incorporate slang in their dialogue naturally whether they intend to or not.

For instance, students of Chico State who were once unfamiliar with Bay Area dialect may now find themselves saying “hella.” Or perhaps they resist the instinctive combination of “hell” and “of” that creates a modern synonym for the outdated and overused adverb, “very.”

With rap influences like Andre Nickatina, Mac Dre and Mista Fab, the Bay Area has a nationwide reputation for its prevalent slang culture. Chico State is easily influenced by this, especially with such a large portion of its student body coming from there.

But Chico State’s current generation of students needs to be careful what they say.

Slang is commonplace, but it is informal.

Students transitioning into the working world should understand that talking with a laid back street flow does not fly in the office.

Don’t be the newbie at work who tells his boss that his shirt is “hella dope.”

Of course, it depends on the occupation. But those who lack professional etiquette often get fired. Those who can maintain a conversation with an expansive vocabulary and demonstrate intelligence through the art of conversation are more likely to get hired.

Believe it or not, I encourage rapping with the homies using the colorful words of street culture. Slang can be vulgar, but it can also be smooth, silly and raw.

Conservatively, much of the corporate world cannot tolerate words unpublished in Merriam Webster’s big red book. So students should get used to keeping slang out of the office.

There is a time and place — slang is for the street and playground.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter