American Teenage Dramas Language And Cultural Interaction English Language Essay

American teenage play series such as Glee, Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, the O.C. and etcetera have won over the Black Marias of striplings in this epoch. These adolescent play series have become pop civilization phenomenon such that they have expanded their fan base in Asiatic states like Malaysia. The adolescent series fad is instead tangible among the pupils of Mara College Banting. However, to what extent are we cognizant of the effects of watching these adolescent play series? Are these trendsetting play shows a good or bad influence on the pupils of Mara College Banting in footings of linguistic communication and cultural interaction?

These inquiries have inspired me to look into my research inquiry, “ How Does Watching American Teenage Drama Series Affect Mara College Banting Students ‘ Written Vocabulary? ” The chief focal point of my paper will be look intoing how the duologues of the characters and the ocular stimulations of the adolescent play series affect Mara College Banting pupils ‘ ain vocabulary. I specifically chose adolescent play series from the United States due to the challenging conversational linguistic communication and the monolithic influence they have on the viewing audiences.

My country of survey encompasses written vocabulary, peculiarly in footings of informal authorship. It is worthy to recognize merely how much we have learned from watching these adolescent series and integrating them in our day-to-day linguistic communication. Hence, observations on day-to-day written texts in societal webs, on-line conversations and diary entries will supply solid grounds relevant to this research. The focal purpose will be colloquialism, abbreviations, idiomatic looks and enlargement of vocabulary.

This research inquiry is worthy of probe because it scrutinizes the effects of watching American teenage play series towards Mara College Banting pupils. From this research, I can find whether or non the pupils incorporate what they learned unconsciously from watching these series into their day-to-day written production. Language is so critical to human civilization and societal interaction.[ 1 ]After all, the Western media have greatly influenced the young persons of Malaysia. With the turning popularity of adolescent play series, it is best to see the deductions it might hold on the pupils ‘ English, specifically vocabulary.


Mara College Banting pupils are genuinely immense fans of American teenage play series. To carry on my research, I indiscriminately selected 30 pupils from different types of classs ( Medicine, Engineering and Biotechnology ) . The age group of my respondents ranges from 18 to 20 old ages old. To turn out how much these adolescent play series have affected Mara College Banting pupils, I have extracted two Facebook[ 2 ]entries.

“ Azzeem Shahren: I ‘m out of GG, out of GLEE and out of Vampire Diariesaˆ¦ and there ‘s merely no waiting for the following episode/season when you merely got 2 hebdomads leftaˆ¦ can person provide me with other things to watch? ”[ 3 ]May 28, 10:51 autopsy

“ Azmir Seed Fakkri: been watching Gossip Girls, Glee and following up is the Vampire Diaries. ”[ 4 ]May 26, 2:26 autopsy

Obviously, the pupils of Mara College Banting are loyal fans of these adolescent play series. In fact, 93.3 % of my respondents have admitted that what appealed to them the most about these series is the interesting plot line. The cardinal characters are chiefly striplings, so the quandary that they face are relatable to the pupils. All the play that drives the secret plan of the series is what keeps audiences glued to their telecasting sets or computing machine screens. Mara College Banting pupils look up to the characters of the series because they envy the characters ‘ attractive visual aspects, endowments and fabulous life style.

Diagram 1: Factors that appeal to the pupils most from watching adolescent series

The saloon chart illustrates the chief factors that make adolescent series entreaty to the pupils of Mara College Banting. Each respondent selects two chief factors.

With such a strong fan base, how much impact has these characters made on Mara College Banting pupils ‘ vocabulary? We should see whether the duologues performed by the histrions are appropriate for us to use in our ain Eastern society. Most significantly, do watching these adolescent play series improve the pupils ‘ vocabulary or decline it? If it so affects their linguistic communication, what facet of vocabulary does it act upon? These inquiries will be answered once we probe the vocabulary used by Mara College Banting pupils in their informal written production.


Colloquialism may be defined as a word or phrase that is non formal or literary, and is typically used in ordinary or familiar conversations.[ 5 ]Sometimes, it may come of every bit mildly dyslogistic, due to its intended usage for informal scenes.[ 6 ]There are many subdivisions or types of colloquialism found in American teenage play series, many of which are rapidly learned by the pupils of Mara College Banting.

Slang or modern-day young person linguistic communication

Slang is normally considered to be a low signifier of linguistic communication and systematically associated with younger talkers.[ 7 ]Consequently, slang is more normally adopted in informal conversations among friends. The characters in adolescent series use these slangs to avoid from being perceived as out-of-date.[ 8 ]Many pupils in Mara College Banting have confessed that they prefer utilizing slang when pass oning among friends because the phrase is much more catchy. “ Spread by telecasting, music and now the Internet, American young persons have generated a vocabulary of their ain. ”[ 9 ]

As antecedently stated, characters in adolescent play series are trendsetters. The pupils of Mara College Banting have adopted the slang that they use every bit good. The following tabular array shows a list of slang or modern-day young person linguistic communication that they have learned from watching American teenage play series.

Table 1: Slang/ modern-day young person linguistic communication[ 10 ]





Friend ; normally used for salutations





Freak out

To panic/lose control



A name for everyone, stereotypically surfboarders and skateboarders

Expressing awe or accent


Crack caput

One who partakes in smoking cleft cocaine

Gossip Girl





Endearing term used for misss, and sometimes depict male childs



An alcoholic drink



Lacks intelligence or experience in a specific field

The 0.C.




Mara College Banting pupils normally use slang during informal conversations. This is a subdivision of functional linguistics- a theory of linguistic communication that adopts a position of linguistic communication as societal interaction. Harmonizing to Tom McArthur, slang is the equivalent of manner and serves the same intent. “ Like smart apparels and manners of amusement, effectual slang must be new, appealing and able to derive credence in a group rapidly. ”[ 11 ]For case, the pupils greet by mentioning to each other as ‘dude ‘ , ”bro ‘ or ‘babe ‘ in societal webs like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace.

“ Fizree Azreen Azhar: safe journey, bro ”

“ Aizat Finggly: all right fellow, I will see ”

“ Naqjwa Naq: Happy Birthday Ezzy baby! ”

These slang footings act as societal tools that enable teens to pass on and show themselves freely. They act as replacements to certain words or phrases that may sound excessively formal. For illustration, if one wants to show his or her panicky emotions, that individual would non state, “ I am in a province of terror! ” as this would be considered out-dated or merely kick silly. Alternatively, the pupils of Mara College Banting would show their emotions as such:

“ Arlina Arshad: I freak out cognizing everyone has started or finished their prep. ”[ 12 ]June 8, 1:39 am

“ Nadd Khar: haha, omg omg[ 13 ]he ‘s hot. * baloney * June 11, 1:30 am

Social web is defined as a manner of organisation of societal relationships characterized by extremely nomadic, interrelated links between persons or groups.[ 14 ]After all, the chief intent of societal webs and online confab suites is to reconnect with old friends and possibly do new 1s. Therefore the tone or registry of the written text should be informal. The pupils are free to utilize slang as they wish because their audience is merely fellow adolescents.

However, the usage of slang is non limited to merely societal webs entirely. The pupils besides use modern-day young person linguistic communication in their web logs[ 15 ]because these sites allow the freedom of authorship and self-expression. This country of survey is known as ethno methodological analysis or colloquial analysis. The pupil wishes to show his or her feelings towards her equals, and therefore would use slang to do the web log more accessible and colloquial. The undermentioned infusions are a few illustrations of web log entries and text messages from the pupils of Mara College Banting:

“ I ‘m non dead y’all. I merely have n’t been composing for 4 months. ”[ 16 ]

“ Whaddup homie ”

Slang is sensitive to current manners so it changes quickly in clip. Most slang footings used in these adolescent play series are ‘cool ‘ now, but would finally vanish from usage within our coevals or go standardised after frequent use.

Swear words /Vulgar footings

Swear words, or bad words, on the other manus, are an utmost signifier of colloquialism. Consequently, some or all members of the society often see these words tabu.[ 17 ]These words are largely intended for violative comments and at utmost conditions ; they affect racial and cultural issues. Cursing is non an unusual job among the adolescents of America. Unfortunately, the pupils of Mara College Banting are easy picking up this conversational linguistic communication themselves.

Many, if non all American teenage play series include coarse footings in the duologues. The expletive words are underlined:

Table 2: Curse words used in American teenage play series



Meaning OF WORD


Season 1: Preggers

Robin goodfellow: Sup, MILF?

Acronym for Mother I ‘d Like to Fornicate


Season 1: Pilot

Noemi: Well, you sound like a small bitch. And merely to be clear, you are so disinvited from my birthday party.

Annoying and whining female.

Navid: Why did n’t you kick his buttocks?

To depict the natess

Gossip Girl

Voice-over: Equally much as a BFF can do you travel WTF

Acronym for what the screw

Twitter entry by a pupil:

“ I think I see a dual mentum. FML ( sleep together my life ) ”[ 18 ]

Facebook remark by a pupil:

“ Hey buttocks hole listen up! ”[ 19 ]

The swear words used by the characters are rapidly picked up by the pupils. In fact, 80 % of my respondents agree that the linguistic communication used in American teenage play series include coarse footings. Ocular stimulation from these adolescent play series is besides to be blamed for shooting the pupils with coarse vocabulary. The most recent and outstanding illustration would hold to be the advertizement run for Gossip Girl in April 2008:


The term ‘OMFG ‘ bases for Oh My Fucking God- a instead scratchy and highly conversational phrase. The commercial for this run itself explains precisely what this word means to the populace. No uncertainty, the show used this term to pull viewing audiences and hike their evaluations. Every respondent who watched Gossip Girl learned what ‘OMFG ‘ meant merely by watching the advertizement for this series. Due to the controversial nature of this term, Gossip Girl has succeeded in deriving popularity.

However, the pupils of Mara College Banting do non fall back to such profanity. They frequently use euphemisms to replace the ‘F word ‘ with words like ‘screw ‘ or ‘shit ‘ . The pupils are instead cautious on what they write in the Internet because it is public sphere. Harmonizing to Kimberly Cunningham, one ‘s placement in societal webs has a big deduction on the span of an person ‘s power in a modern-day informational society.[ 20 ]Sing that the pupils want to suit in and do new friends, they would certainly be careful in taking their words.

Making a good feeling in order to do new friends online is truly of import to adolescents. Hence, the pupils of my college seldom write swear words in their profiles. After all, these pupils would merely utilize curse words with friends that they are genuinely familiar with. When covering with new friends or familiarities, Mara College Banting pupils make usage of slang in order to interrupt the ice. As the friendly relationship develops even further and the pupils become closer together, so the fortunes would allow the pupils to utilize these swear words.


With the turning usage of the Internet, written texts have evolved enormously. The Internet is chiefly a reading medium that encourages brevity, but frequently of the incorrect kind.[ 21 ]Real-time text-based communications such as Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and Short Message Service ( SMS ) have caused the outgrowth of a new linguistic communication suited to the concentration of this new media.[ 22 ]

Adolescents like the pupils of Mara College Banting usage acronyms alternatively of typing full sentences because it is more convenient. They utilize acronyms every bit much as they can to salvage clip and money. The following tabular array shows the acronyms that my respondents have learned from watching American teenage play series.

Table 3: Acronym learned from watching adolescent play series





Oh My God

Gossip Girl


Mother I ‘d Like to Fornicate



Hugs and busss

Gossip Girl


Laugh Out Loud


‘XOXO ‘ really symbolizes clinchs and busss. The ‘X ‘ symbolizes a buss and ‘O ‘ is the form of a clinch. It is popularized through Gossip Girl because ‘XOXO ‘ is the storyteller ‘s catch phrase. In most episodes, the storyteller would ever include it as such:

“ And who am I? That ‘s one secret you know I ‘ll ne’er tellaˆ¦ You know you love meaˆ¦ XOXO Gossip Girl. ”[ 23 ]

This abbreviation has become popular among the pupils of Mara College Banting. A batch of them use ‘XOXO ‘ to show their fancy among friends while others merely compose ‘XOXO ‘ to cite Gossip Girl. This clearly shows how much impact watching adolescent play series had on the pupils ‘ vocabulary. In fact, 83.3 % of my randomly selected questionnaire respondents use acronyms in their text messages and written productions online. The undermentioned phrases are remarks written by the pupils in societal webs:

“ Dhania Haron: Hey Farah! We ‘ll hold to wait for Fred for the locale and day of the month. XOXO, Dhania “[ 24 ]June 1, 10:03 am

“ Azmir Seed Fakkri: aˆ¦careful Mr S, the cyberspace might convey more benefits than you think it isaˆ¦ XOXOaˆ¦ chitchat miss ”

“ Azmir Seed Fakkri: aˆ¦ can you give me your web log nexus? … XOXO blogger boyaˆ¦ ”[ 25 ]

May 26, 8:01 autopsy

“ Azhari Rosli: I ‘m awesome-er hahahaaˆ¦ I know you love meaˆ¦ XOXO haha ”[ 26 ]

June 11, 3:33 autopsy

However, the most often used acronyms are ‘OMG ‘ which stands for Oh My God and ‘LOL ‘ which is an abbreviation for ‘laugh out loud ‘ . The ‘OMG ‘ acronym is picked up from many adolescent play series, largely from the characters ‘ duologue and text messages. It is normally to portray incredulity or awe. ‘LOL ‘ , on the other manus is normally intended for written texts to show laughter. A batch of Mara College Banting pupils apply the acronyms they learned from adolescent play series in their text messages and societal webs.

“ Nadiah Bajunid: OMG I wan na go if there ‘s a hot cat excessively! Is this the one in OU? ”

“ Rofi Dang: LOL. Totally. Haha ”

“ Azzeem Shahren: Btw ( by the manner ) aˆ¦ upload the vids ( picture ) aˆ¦ whoever has it! ”

“ Farah Farhana: babeaˆ¦ sorry I was awayaˆ¦ . Will make the remark *ASAP ( every bit shortly as possible ) . ”

Expanding vocabulary

New Terminology

A batch of adolescent play series tend to make new footings to maintain audiences inquiring what those footings truly intend. As preciously stated, Gossip Girl had popularized the acronym ‘OMFG ‘ and used ‘XOXO ‘ as its hallmark. However, it is non the merely adolescent series that have introduced new footings. My questionnaire respondents interestingly pointed out some footings that they have learned from watching other adolescent play series ; most of which are non even in the lexicon.

For case, ‘Chrismukkah ‘ is a term that was popularized in the O.C. whereby it is a jubilation of both Christmas and Hanukkah. The character, Seth Cohen had parents who had separate beliefs. His male parent was Judaic whereas his female parent was Protestant. Hence, to unite both beliefs, Seth claimed to hold ‘created ‘ this vacation.[ 27 ]The term had already existed prior to the series, but it was the O.C. that had made the term popular among viewing audiences, which include the pupils of Mara College Banting.

Another illustration would be the pop cultural phenomenon- Glee. This adolescent play series had literally invented a term of its ain. Episode 11 of Season 1 was entitled ‘Hairography ‘ . The definition of this term was explained in the duologue of Rachel Berry with the Glee Club adviser, Mr. William Schuester. The undermentioned extract is Rachel ‘s description of the term:

“ What they were making were all merely fumes and mirrors- it ‘s called hairography. All of the whizzing of their hair about merely to deflect from the fact that they ‘re non truly good terpsichoreans and their vocals were merely indifferent. ”[ 28 ]

Besides that, Glee besides coined the term ‘Lima also-ran ‘ . A Lima also-ran is a individual that will non amount to anything and would ever be a also-ran for the remainder of his or her life. Lima is really an abbreviation for ‘lost in the center of America ‘ ( L.I.M.A. ) where the characters in the series live.[ 29 ]This term was introduced through Quinn Fabray ‘s duologue when Puck confronted her:

“ You ‘re a Lima also-ran and you will ever be a Lima also-ran. ”[ 30 ]Season 1 Episode 4

From the duologue performed by the characters, the pupils of Mara College Banting now understand the definition of the word ‘Hairography ‘ and ‘Lima Loser ‘ even if they did non be antecedently. Sing that Glee is a musical series, the footings introduced by this adolescent series will most surely be related to music. The perfect illustrations would be ‘Mash-Up ‘ and ‘Theatricality ‘ . Once once more, the character explains the definition of the term verbally. The followers is the book that describes the footings:

“ Mr Schuester: A mash-up is when you take two vocals and squash them together to do an even richer detonation of musical look ” Season 1 Episode 6

“ Shelby Corcoran: But being theatrical does n’t intend you have to be a atomic detonation. It can be like, like a quiet storm. You merely have to radiate emotion, show what ‘s deep inside you. That ‘s what staginess is genuinely approximately. ”[ 31 ]S1 Episode 20

The musical slangs are besides introduced from the dance modus operandis. In the episode ‘Throw down ‘ , Sue Sylvester ‘s character wanted Mike Chang to demo his ‘pop and lock ‘ moves. Mike Chang started to dance to the dad and lock manner, therefore showing what the term truly meant without stating a word.


‘Pop and lock ‘ is a manner of interruption dancing which involves short, rapid motions of the weaponries and the legs ( starting ) , combined with brief intermissions in between motions ( locking ) .[ 32 ]Mike Chang ‘s character had absolutely demonstrated these dance moves in many episodes. Rather than explicating it in lines, Mike shows it to the audience. This is an illustration whereby ocular stimulation from adolescent play series can spread out the pupils ‘ vocabulary.

Therefore, adolescent play series had clearly been educational to some extent. The pupils who are non musically inclined are now more knowing in music by watching adolescent play series like Glee. The new words that they have learned, irrespective whether or non they were invented by the series or established in the English lexicon have greatly expanded their vocabulary.

Even Fox Entertainment Boss, Pete Rice quoted, “ In merely one twelvemonth, Glee has transcended the telecasting landscape and emerged as a planetary dad civilization phenomenon. ” Glee has gained so much popularity worldwide that the fans of Glee have been given the nickname ‘Gleek ‘ . The word is really a combination of ‘Glee ‘ and ‘geek ‘ . Therefore, all the pupils of Mara College Banting that are obsessed with Glee would mention to each other as a ‘Gleek ‘ .


In relation to larning new words, a minor group of Mara College Banting acknowledged that these American teenage play series had taught them new adjectives. Since adjectives are of import to depict the characters ‘ emotions or actions, a batch of these adjectives are added into the pupils ‘ of all time spread outing vocabulary.

Table 4: New adjectives learned through watching adolescent series:






A individual who is ill-mannered and unkind


Gossip Girl

Sleep togethering ugly


One Tree Hill

Very little ; non covering much

Most adjectives used in American teenage play series are in a sense, invented. Merely one or two new footings learned from watching these series are really existent English words. Wordss like ‘fugly ‘ and ‘slampy ‘ are footings that the series have introduced on their ain. Fugly uses the ‘F word ‘ ( euphemism for screw ) to give a much stronger impact or accent on the adjectival ‘ugly ‘ . Slampy is besides another negative term created by adolescent play series.

( degree Celsius ) Idiomatic Expressions

Despite the negative footings that have been injected into the vocabulary of the pupils of Mara College Banting, there are besides pros to watching these adolescent play series. Some adolescent drama series include idiomatic looks in the book. My respondents have learned many parlances while watching these shows.

Table 5: Idiomatic looks learned from Glee ( extracted from questionnaires ) :



Cock O ‘ the walk

Used to depict a individual who is ‘too cool for school ‘

On the down low

A adult male, who for all purposes is consecutive, nevertheless one time in a piece likes to prosecute in homosexual sex

Over the shoulder bowlder holder

Large bandeau

One in the oven

Pregnant adult female

Washed up

Person that has one time led its extremum of illustriousness far excessively long ago

Judging from the list of parlances used in the book of adolescent play series, there is no denying that watching these series can besides be educational. It is hard to larn idiomatic looks through memorisation. Hence, the ocular stimulation from adolescent play series would do it easier for the pupils to retrieve the parlances. When the footings are applied in day-to-day state of affairss like the teenage play shows, the pupils would cognize the proper manner of using those parlances. They would be able to widen their vocabulary with easiness.


The chief aim of this Extended Essay is to look into on how watching American teenage play series can impact the vocabulary of Mara College Banting pupils. The duologue and ocular stimulations of the teenage series have so affected their written vocabulary, peculiarly in informal written texts. Applications such as societal webs, web logs and text messaging provide the pupils the freedom of linguistic communication and self-expression. Therefore, the pupils incorporate the vocabulary they have learned from watching those series into these applications.

Jointly, these adolescent play series have added slang or modern-day young person linguistic communication into the pupils ‘ vocabulary. Sing that the registry in societal webs and text messaging is informal, the pupils feel free to utilize slang. Besides modern-day young person linguistic communication, the pupils have besides applied abbreviations in their vocabulary. Acronyms are used, as they are more convenient compared to composing out complete sentences. This technique is picked up from watching the characters text utilizing their phones or any other ocular stimulations of the kind.

However, these American teenage play series frequently introduce footings that are instead violative. Swear words are frequently written in the book to portray teenage angst and the degrading linguistic communication in our society today. If used heedlessly, these swear words might pique other adolescents and damage their self-pride. The tone of conversation among childs may be informal, but attention must be taken non to utilize conversational linguistic communication irresponsibly.

Though there are some negative deductions of watching adolescent play series, there is no denying that these shows are besides good to the pupils of Mara College Banting. More frequently than non, new footings are being introduced to these pupils. A batch of the pupils have learned new words by merely watching these shows. The ocular stimulation besides helped them memorise the words better. Hence, watching these adolescent play series have so affected Mara College Banting pupils ‘ written vocabulary. The new footings are learned and applied in informal written production such as societal webs, text messaging and web logs.

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