scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 5,105
Feature Articles Magical Slang Ritual Language and Trench Slang of the Western Front Unprecedented in its conditions ferocity and slaughter the First World War was also unprecedented in its effect on the psyches of the men who fought and on the languages they spoke Like the soldiers who spoke it English emerged from the war as Samuel Hynes maintains a damaged language shorn of its high-rhetorical top 1 French linguistic purists led by the Academie Francaise vigorously denounced damaging incursions of journalistic language and trench slang into standard French 2 Only in Germany did a nationalist ideology with its high rhetoric of struggle sacrifice and military glory survive adopted and nourished first by rightist veterans groups and paramilitary formations and finally institutionalised by the National Socialists and their leader former Frontsoldat Adolf Hitler But whatever damage the war may have wrought on the high language is in a sense compensated by the emergence of two new popular languages of great interest to the historian One is the language of popular journalism already well-established in 1914 it was characterised by its own chauvinistic diction and aggressively patriotic attitude and was the means by which most civilians got information about the war Universally excoriated by the fighting troops as bourrage de crone head stuffing ie false stories and Hurrah-patriotismus hurrah patriotism journalistic prose nevertheless significantly shaped civilian attitudes about the war and soldiers attitudes about the press 3 French troops called the official war bulletin le petit menteur the little liar The other language was of course what we call trench slang the common idiom of the front The literate mass armies trapped in the entrenched stalemate of the First World War provided a fertile medium for the development and dissemination of the special language of the trenches 4 In this essay I intend to focus on the two predominant roles of slang in the context of the Western
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA