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5 Comments

  • This is very interesting, particularly as it is a topic tackled in Fry’s English Delight recently (Stephen Fry’s podcast on the English language). He argues that “innit” is simply the English version of the French “n’est-ce pas?” and as such shouldn’t be derided as slang.

    While I never use “innit” I do pepper my conversations with “like” and “kinda, like”, usually without realising it. It must be both confusing and iritating for the non-native speakers of my acquaintance.

  • Well, the same happens in other languages, too – so don’t fear we get confused. Some Germans (it is a question of the region you come from) put words like “halt” in their speach without knowing so. (“Halt” doesn’t mean “stop” here.) Others like interjections like “ja?” or “stimmt’s” (“right”?) in rather absurd connecitons. So don’t worry. And when we slip into slang in surroundings we’d prefer not doing so, other people might not even notice, innit?
    Claudia

  • Hi Claudia, that’s reassuring and you are quite right of course, that every language has it’s own slang and every user of any language knows to moderate their language based on the situation they happen to be in. Thanks for your comment.

  • Quite right Caroline! I think the line between formal English and slang has to be a lot more flexible these days. Oh I LOVE ‘Fry’s English Delight’! There is something new for me to learn in every episode – rock on Stephen! Thanks for your comment, Caroline.