colloquial
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Colloquialism or colloquial language is the linguistic style used for casual (informal)
communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner thought and outer world." As this definition indica ...

communication
. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in
conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficientl ...

conversation
and other informal
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
s. Colloquialism is characterized by wide usage of interjections and other expressive devices; it makes use of non-specialist terminology, and has a rapidly changing
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and l ...

lexicon
. It can also be distinguished by its usage of formulations with incomplete logical and
syntactic In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
ordering. A specific instance of such language is termed a ''colloquialism''. The most common term used in dictionaries to label such an expression is ''colloquial''.


Explanation

Colloquialism or general parlance is distinct from
formal speech
formal speech
or
formal writing A literary language is the form Form is the shape, visual appearance, or :wikt:configuration, configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something happens. Form also refers to: *Form (document), a document (printed or elect ...
.colloquial. (n.d.) Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 10, 2008, fro
Dictionary.com
/ref> It is the form of language that speakers typically use when they are relaxed and not especially self-conscious. An expression is labeled ''colloq.'' for "colloquial" in dictionaries when a different expression is preferred in formal usage, but this does not mean that the colloquial expression is necessarily
slang Slang is vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learnin ...
or non-standard. Some colloquial language contains a great deal of
slang Slang is vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learnin ...
, but some contains no slang at all. Slang is often used in colloquial speech, but this particular register is restricted to particular in-groups, and it is not a necessary element of colloquialism. Other examples of colloquial usage in English include contractions or
profanity Profanity is a socially offensive use of language, which may also be called cursing, swearing, or expletives. Accordingly, profanity is language use that is sometimes deemed impolite, rude, or culturally Culture () is an umbrella term wh ...

profanity
. "Colloquial" should also be distinguished from " non-standard". The difference between standard and non-standard is not necessarily connected to the difference between formal and colloquial. Formal, colloquial, and vulgar language are more a matter of stylistic variation and
diction Diction ( la, dictionem (nom. ), "a saying, expression, word"), in its original meaning, is a writer's or speaker's distinctive vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's langu ...
, rather than of the standard and non-standard dichotomy. The term "colloquial" is however also equated with "non-standard" at times, in certain contexts and terminological conventions. A colloquial name or familiar name is a name or term commonly used to identify a person or thing in non-specialist language, in place of another usually more formal or technical name. (See also:
common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as ...
,
trivial name In chemistry, a trivial name is a nonsystematic name for a chemical substance. That is, the name is not recognized according to the rules of any formal system of chemical nomenclature such as IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry, IUPAC inorg ...
). In the
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, E ...
, "colloquial language" is ordinary
natural language In neuropsychology, linguistics, and the philosophy of language, a natural language or ordinary language is any language that has linguistic evolution, evolved naturally in humans through use and repetition without conscious planning or premedit ...
, as distinct from specialized forms used in
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit ...

logic
or other areas of philosophy. In the field of
logical atomism Logical atomism is a philosophical view that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and f ...
, meaning is evaluated in a different way than with more formal
proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by all sentences with the same mea ...
s.


Distinction from other styles

Colloquialisms are distinct from
slang Slang is vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learnin ...
or
jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as terminology science. Terms a ...
. Slang refers to words used only by specific social groups, such as demographics based on region, age, or socio-economic identity. In contrast, jargon is most commonly used within specific occupations, industries, activities, or areas of interest. Colloquial language includes slang, along with abbreviations, contractions, idioms, turns-of-phrase, and other informal words and phrases known to most native speakers of a language or dialect. Jargon is terminology that is explicitly defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, or group. The term refers to the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest. Similar to slang, it is shorthand used to express ideas, people, and things that are frequently discussed between members of a group. Unlike slang, it is often developed deliberately. While a standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage amongst practitioners of relevant disciplines, it is often reported that jargon is a barrier to communication for those people unfamiliar with the respective field.


See also

*
Eye dialect Eye dialect is the use of deliberately nonstandard spelling to emphasize how a word is being pronounced. The term was coined by George Philip Krapp George Philip Krapp (1872–1934) was a scholar of English. In 1897 Krapp joined the faculty of Colu ...
*
Oral history Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview Some interviews are recorded for televis ...
*
Slang dictionary A slang dictionary is a reference book A reference work is a work such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entit ...
*
Vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language A first language, native tongue, native langua ...


References


External links


Colloquial Spanish
Dictionary of Colloquial Spanish.

{{Authority control * Language varieties and styles