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Language and social identity

6 years ago
Are there words you use that help you identify with a certain social group? For example different generations have different words and phrases. I know if I said "wow that was a sick movie" (great/good) my kids would laugh at me - I am simply too old to say "sick" and get away with it. I am from the generation that created "wicked" and "mate" however - words my kids would not be heard muttering.
Language doesn´t just reflect our age but also factors like our class, our gang identity, even our gender!
I live in Spain and I feel uncomfortable being in company of Spanish locals with foreign friends using English. I don´t want to be identified this way, I want to be seen to be someone more integrated and so I will try and speak Spanish, to reflect my respect for my native neighbours. However down on the coast in Marbella, it´s almost expected that you won´t know ANY Spanish and your language becomes a status symbol.
Did you know even in sign language systems there will be regional differences. Many people have criticized this for not being practical, but the hard of hearing community defend their right to have accents just as the hearing world does - fair play.
What words would you not use and why? What words do you use only in certain company? Do you ever absorb different accents? I am an accent sponge! ;)