If You’re Watching a Hollywood Movie
If you’re watching a Hollywood movie sitting cozy on your sofa, somewhere in Patna, Mumbai, or Chennai, or even in some suburb of India, at times you are feeling uncomfortable with the true meaning of some of the words spoken by the actors. If you’re not pacing together with their so fast dialogue delivery and going on with the help of subtitles in English, even then at times, your comprehension fails. It’s all because of the so frequent use of American slang in the movies of Hollywood.
Sitting in some corner outside America, despite your grip over the English language, the American slang may sound Latin to you. If we flash some light on the inherent meaning of slang, Carolyn Yule explains, “Slang is an aspect of social life that is subject to fashion. Especially among adolescents. It can be used by those inside group who share ideas and attitude as a way distinguish themselves from others”. In fact, it is an informal situational style of language. So the slangs become intangible to the larger audience.
In Hollywood Movies…
So watching Hollywood movies, characters sometimes throw surprises at the oriental viewers with the mix of slang in conventional English. If you have seen the movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street, you must have come across a conversation between two characters- Aunt Emma and Jordon. Let’s have a bit of it: –
“Aunt Emma: Sometimes I wonder if you let this thing (take the money) get the best of you, dear. (beat)Among other substances.
Jordan: It’s that obvious, huh? I’m a drug addict, Emma. Coke, pills, whatever you wanna name it. Sex addict too.
Aunt Emma: You’re a man with large appetites.”
Here, coke is cocaine, not Coca-Cola. And though tricky, they are innocuous expressions. But there are certain slangs, it is better than the traditional oriental viewer doesn’t understand, else it would hurt his pious sensitivity deeper. Some slangs are sheer abuses and rather vulgarly creative and experimental. These slangs mostly talk of sex and the organs related to the act.
The Famous Hollywood Movie
The famous movie ‘Juno’ released in 2007, received a standing ovation and four Oscars. One of the fours went into the bag of Diablo Cody for best original screenplay. Her use of slang is one of the most memorable elements of the script, as the critics say. However, most of the slang used may sound vulgar to the Indian sensibility. It’s better that you don’t understand them: – “You know as a woman with a bum ovary or something.
Or some nice lesbos. / Spank off to this with motion lotion. /Rip off the Band-Aid and let it bleed. / I don’t want you to get ripped off by a couple of baby-starved wingnuts. /Get more snatch from the batch! /Share the love, Tits!/I drink tons of booze, so you might get one of those neuter-babies that’s born without the junk./Prom is for wenises, anyway. /You are the chosen custodians of this big-ass bump!”
Demand Of The Script
The above dialogues contain such sleazy contents that cannot be very openly shared. It’s all about sexual acts in a very derogatory way. Still, they were the demand of the script.
We come across more dialogues that obstruct our comprehension because of slang but thank God they are not that offensive. Like ‘Shut your gob’, “time suck’, ‘Do you think. I’m going to flake out on you?’ and so many of the same texture. These are respectively to shut the mouth, a waste of time, and to fail to keep an appointment. ‘Fave’ is also a slang meaning favorite, ‘Pee’ meaning money, ‘Shifted’ meaning to get arrested and so the list goes on.
While watching the Hollywood movies and not feeling gawky at times by these tricky terms and jargons, it’s better to lay your hands on “The Thesaurus of Slang,” edited by Esther and Albert Lewin, or other such dictionaries, get prepared and enjoy the movies without embarrassing interruptions. Well, in that case, you’ll be able to understand the lewd remarks and effortless obscenity in language also and gauge well the language has crossed so many conventional boundaries since Victorian morality. (written by Sanjay Kumar Kundan )
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