Colloquialism, Distinction from other styles

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Summary

A colloquialism is a word, phrase or other form used in informal language. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier. Colloquialism is related to, but not the same as slang. Some colloquial speech contains a great deal of slang, but some contains no slang at all. Slang is permitted in colloquial language, but it is not a necessary element. Other examples of colloquial usage in English include contractions or profanity.

Details

Colloquialisms are distinct from slang or jargon. Slang refer to words used only by specific social groups, such as teenagers or soldiers. Colloquial language may include slang, but also forms such as contractions or other informal words known to most native speakers of the language.

Jargon is terminology that is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession or group. The term refers to the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest. Much like slang, it is a kind of shorthand used to express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group, though it can also be developed deliberately using chosen terms. While a standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage amongst practitioners of relevant disciplines, it is often reported that jargon is a barrier to communication for those people unfamiliar with the respective field.

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