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"Drug Terminology" Essay

1632 words - 7 pages

"Drug-Related Communication" In our society, language is the prominent way of communicating ones ideas. When people are born, they learn how to speak by absorbing what language they hear around them. As people go through life, more specific forms of language may be used to suit different interactions. An example, is the terms, and style of language associated with drugs and other illegal activities. Certain language that is used while partaking in illegal activities, such as those relating to drugs, has arisen from those parties involved having to be able to communicate freely, while avoiding specific words that could lead to their illicit activities being disrupted (be it by the police, or just a nosy neighbor.) The English that Americans use is very different from the version that came with the first American Settlers. Today, American language, or American vernacular, consists of a combination of many languages, incorrect use of English, slang, and other words that come about for certain purposes. I believe drug-related terminology and communication developed just like any other set of words, because of a need to communicate ideas that other existing words didn't accurately describe, while using the language skills and ideas of those people who are making up the words. When a word is made up, it's form and meaning are all based on what is in the creators imagination. In the case of words associated with drugs, the creators were probably also users, and thus had a very warped sense of reality. This is evident in drug words that are simple, highly metaphorical, and filled with vivid imagery. The word "All-Star", which is used to describe a multiple drug user, has two meanings. It could be a reference to a person of high ability, or agility (one which is commonly used in sports), or more simply, it could be reference to what this drug user is seeing (All stars.) Aunt Hazel (heroin), Aunt Mary (marijuana), Aunt Nora (cocaine), and Aunti Emma (opium) are all seemingly harmless words. They invoke pictures of the "Traditional family" and caring, and completely hide against the drugs they are truly describing. Other words, like the ones used to describe Crack (Ice Cube, French Fries, Hamburger Helper), are a bit more obscure in their meanings. Drug-Related communication is not just an inner-city entity. The exposure that mass communication (television, radio and computers) has brought to illegal activities, has spread Drug-related terms to every corner of our country. It would be just as easy to hear people speaking in these terms in a small village in Iowa, as it would to hear them in New York City. One reason for this, could be kids wanting to conform to a type of lifestyle that doesn't really exist in their environment. Another reason, could be that people across the country need to be able to communicate to get drugs. For example, you won't see a person walk up to a dug house anywhere, and say "Can I have one bag of...

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