Examples of group terms used by a speech community in the university
- Parallel Program-
- The term is pronounced as the English words meaning degree program designed to transfer a qualified student to universities although not selected by the university.
- LM; a female student at the university.
- “The exam was difficult but I qualified for the Parallel Program to pursue Computer Science.
- Five students were talking outside the hall during an orientation day for the first-year students.
- Parallel Program is associated with the Regular Program where students are selected by the government to enter degree programs in the tertiary institutions. Normally universities, the Parallel program allows students to sponsor themselves into the same university and take the same course.
- The term is pronounced like the English word meaning a first-year student in the first semester of the university.
- LW; (Second year) female student in the hostel.
- “hey you fresher, pass me your burger, I do not want to fight over it. Now!!”
- Used when a senior student (from the second year) demands something from a first-year student who is always naïve and fearful.
- Fresher is an idiomatic term to mean a novice first-year student, new member, (or first effort) with a lack of experience in the new environment or new position. Normally used when by older members to refer to the new members to expose them as inferior and inexperienced.
- The term is pronounced like the English word bucks meaning United States Dollar ($).
- Used by university students at the university.
- “This laptop is expensive. It goes for 210 Bucks.”
- Five students were talking in the computer lab about economies of technological advancement.
- Bucks referred to a dollar – mulcted for the sum of twenty bucks.
- Pronounced like the English word squeeze meaning to beat someone.
- MT; female student at the university lecture hall.
- “If you cross me again I will squeeze you”
- Two female students were arguing before the start of a lecture.
- The squeeze is borrowed from the English word meaning to press hard together, hence inflicting pain.
- Pronounced just like the English words. It meaning a female who is a virgin.
- J J; female student on campus.
- “she pretends to be good yet she is not sinless, how?”
- Used by female students chatting in the hostel.
- The term is pronounced as Rave. It means going clubbing.
- Used by female students in the university.
- “We did rave out yesterday night. Am exhausted, but I must try out today night.”
- A student was answering a phone call on inquiry from a friend.
- It is pronounced like the English word get-to. It means a hostel room.
- Used by a female student FW at the university.
- “When will you be going to your ghetto? I want us to have a talk.”
- Two students discussing a private conversation at night after studies.
- The term is borrowed from the English word “soft.” It means a humble person who is not likely to defend him or herself.
- Used by a female student on campus.
- “She is a softly, there is nothing she can do about it. Those guys will continue harassing him.”
- Female students were talking outside the library about the plight of a male student.
- The term is pronounced as it is in English. It means a guy who is handsome.
- Used by a female student on campus.
- “That guys is fine. No wonder he is approach by girls.”
- Five female students were conversing during rehearsals of a play.
- The term is pronounced as it is in English. It means a person who has a lot of money.
- Used by a female student in the university.
- “That guy is fished; he must be from a wealthy family. He owns a convertible.”
- A group of students was chatting outside the library. They had seen the “guy” in question pass by and as usual, some gossip started out.
Description of the Speech Community
The speech community discussed is of college students at a university. A group of female students at the university uses the terms above among others. They are the outgoing group of female students, who are always in touch with any upcoming trends in the fashion industry, any new handsome male students on the block, activities on campus, and any new dancing clubs in the city. They are of a certain class and joining them one has to dress in trendy clothes and know their “language.” They are sociable and seek to draw much attention. It is easy to notice them as they walk in groups of five or seven; they speak loudly and giggle most of the time.
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After lectures, they parade themselves outside the library to gather updates. They have an identity in the group and have a leader who is influential in the social circle. The members are to date only “hot” people. Failure to do so, maybe ignored or rejected by the members. From Gumperz’s definition of the speech community, these students share a lot in common, the language of interaction binds them to a particular way of viewing life. To join them and the individual may have to dress, act, frequent the places they go to, and speak their “language.”
It is worthwhile to note that the student’s experience, age group as well as interaction shape the meaning of the speech community. As such, they tend to associate a word with a meaning that is first referred to by the introduction. For instance, the word ‘fresher’ is related to milk. From the English perspective and the context of the female students, the term ‘fresher’ is an idiomatic term to mean a novice first-year student, new member, (or first effort) with a lack of experience in the new environment or new position.
Normally used when by older members to refer to the new members to expose them as inferior and inexperienced. The students use the word when they refer to first-year students or literally while talking to them in the hostel, outside classes, during meal times, and even while taking co-curricula activities. Normally used when a senior student (from the second year) demands something from a first-year student who is always naïve and fearful. Milk that is fresh and not contaminated. Such fresh milk is admirable and according to this context take it as innocent.
However, there are many chances that with time, the milk will definitely become sour. We understand that milk is sold very much to students in the school at the canteens, shops, and supermarkets. It is during such purchases that the students related the word fresh milk to a fresh first-year student. Definitely, these female students are used to meet at the dining halls, canteens, and supermarkets. The orientation of the meaning of the word is brought the fact that female students share a lot; the language of interaction binds them to a particular way of viewing life.
Again, the fact that the interaction between the students is casual and they try to exhibit a.com generation where each word should elicit an idea of fashion and uniqueness. As such the words like sinless (rather than virgin or righteous), rave ( rather than ‘going to a club’), and squeeze (rather than beat) are taken to be fashionable and unique. In fact, this shows that the words they use are more superior to using the same words that mean exactly what they are referring to.
In essence, the squeeze is used to mean to beat someone and is used by the female students to show they are angry and will end up injuring the party to who the word is directed. In normal circumstances, people in the public will use the word ‘beat up’ since it can be understood easily. The chance of misunderstanding is low since one assumes they understand the word beat as opposed to squeezing.
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Sinless means a female who is a virgin. Most girls at this age are just above their teenage and may not be virgins. However, the likelihood that some of them may be virgins raises eyebrows and special cases which are talked about severally. Such girls may not have indulged in sex or fornication which is unacceptable. The unethical behavior of fornication may is taken as a sin. As such, the few who may have not indulged in fornication and are virgins are considered righteous. This makes the female students refer to them as sinless. The students use this word when they want to ‘rave’ with other female students who are unwilling to join them.