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Slang, consists of a lexicon of non-standard words and phrases in a given language. Use of these words and phrases is typically associated with the subversion of a standard variety and is likely to be interpreted by listeners as implying particular attitudes on the part of the speaker. In some contexts a speaker’s selection of slang words or phrases may convey prestige, indicating group membership or distinguishing group members from those who aren’t a part of the group.
Michael Adams remarks that “[slang] is liminal language… it is often impossible to tell, even in context, which interests and motives it serves… Slang is on the edge.” Slang dictionaries, collecting thousands of slang entries, offer a broad, empirical window into the motivating forces behind slang.
While many forms of language may be considered “sub-standard”, slang remains distinct from colloquial and jargon terms because of its specific social contexts. While considered inappropriate in formal writing, colloquial terms are typically considered acceptable in speech across a wide range of contexts, while slang tends to be considered unacceptable in many contexts. Jargon refers to language used by personnel in a particular field, or language used to represent specific terms within a field to those with a particular interest. Although jargon and slang can both be used to exclude non–group members from the conversation, the intention of jargon is to optimize conversation using terms that imply technical understanding. On the other hand, slang tends to emphasize social and contextual understanding. The expression “down size” is an example of jargon, while the adjective “gnarly” is an example of slang. “Down size” originated from 1990′s era corporate jargon, as a euphemistic way to talk about layoffs. “Gnarly”, by contrast, originates from off-roaders, talking about the most treacherous area of a mountain, which likely would have gnarls of some kind, but was extended by this same group to mean any kind of intense or particularly daring act. While colloquialisms and jargon may seem like slang because they reference a particular group, they don’t fit the same definition, because they don’t represent a particular effort to replace standard language. Colloquialisms are considered more standard than slang, and jargon is often created to talk about aspects of a particular field that aren’t accounted for in the standard lexicon.
It is often difficult to differentiate slang from colloquialisms and even more standard language, because slang generally becomes accepted into the standard lexicon over time. Words such as “spurious” and “strenuous” were once slang, though they are now accepted as standard, even high register words. The literature on slang even discusses mainstream acknowledgment of a slang term as changing its status as true slang, because it has been accepted by the media and is thus no longer the special insider speech of a particular group. Nevertheless, a general test for whether a word is a slang word or not is whether it would be acceptable in an academic or legal setting, as both are arenas in which standard language is considered necessary and/or whether the term has been entered in the Oxford English Dictionary, which some scholars claim changes its status as slang.
It is often difficult to collect etymologies for slang terms, largely because slang is a phenomenon of speech, rather than written language and etymologies which are typically traced via corpus.
Coleman also suggests that slang is differentiated within more general semantic change in that it typically has to do with a certain degree of “playfulness.” The development of slang is considered to be a largely “spontaneous, lively, and creative” speech process.
Still, while a great deal of slang takes off, even becoming accepted into the standard lexicon, much slang dies out, sometimes only referencing a group. An example of this is the term “groovy” which is a relic of 1960′s and 70′s American “hippy” slang. Nevertheless, for a slang term to become a slang term, people must use it, at some point in time, as a way to flout standard language. Additionally, slang terms may be borrowed between groups, such as the term “gig” which was originally coined by jazz musicians in the 1930s and then borrowed into the same hippy slang of the 1960s.
Generally, slang terms undergo the same processes of semantic change that words in the regular lexicon do.
Slang is usually associated with a particular group and plays a role in constructing our identities. While slang outlines social space, attitudes about slang partly construct group identity and identify individuals as members of groups. Therefore, using the slang of a particular group will associate an individual with that group. Using Silverstein’s notion of different orders of indexicality, it can be said that a slang term can be a second-order index to this particular group. Employing a slang term, however, can also give an individual the qualities associated with the term’s group of origin, whether or not the individual is actually trying to identify as a member of the group. This allocation of qualities based on abstract group association is known as third-order indexicality.
Nevertheless, Matiello concludes that those agents who identify themselves as “young men” have “genuinely coined” these terms and choose to use them over “canonical” terms —like beautiful or sexy—because of the indexicalized social identifications the former convey.
In terms of 1st and 2nd order indexicality, the usage of speaker-oriented terms by male adolescents indicated their membership to their age group, to reinforce connection to their peer group, and to exclude outsiders.
In terms of higher order indexicality, anyone using these terms may desire to appear fresher, undoubtedly more playful, faddish, and colourful than someone who employs the standard English term “beautiful.” This appearance relies heavily on the hearer’s third-order understanding of the term’s associated social nuances and presupposed use-cases.
Often, distinct subcultures will create slang that members will use in order to associate themselves with the group, or to delineate outsiders.
Slang terms are often known only within a clique or ingroup. For example, Leet was originally popular only among certain Internet subcultures, such as software crackers and online video gamers. During the 1990s, and into the early 21st century, however, Leet became increasingly more commonplace on the Internet, and it has spread outside Internet-based communication and into spoken languages. Other types of slang include SMS language used on mobile phones, and “chatspeak,” (e.g., “LOL”, an acronym meaning “laughing out loud” or “laugh out loud” or ROFL, “rolling on the floor laughing”), which are widely used in instant messaging on the Internet.
As subcultures are also often forms of counterculture and counterculture itself can be defined as going against a standard, it follows that slang has come to be associated with counterculture.
In its earliest attested use the word slang referred to the vocabulary of “low or disreputable” people. By the early nineteenth century, it was no longer exclusively associated with disreputable people, but continued to be applied to language use below the level of standard educated speech. The origin of the word is uncertain, although it appears to be connected with Thieves’ cant. A Scandinavian origin has been proposed (compare, for example, Norwegian slengenavn, which means “nickname”), but is discounted by the Oxford English Dictionary based on “date and early associations”.
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The Eurotiomycetes is a class of ascomycetes within the subphylum Pezizomycotina.
Some members of the Eurotiomycetes were previously grouped in the class Plectomycetes.
The scientific classification for this particular class is particularly tricky, with one particular species having both the anamorph, and teleomorph names used in reference to them.
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A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.
In the United Kingdom today, the term is almost indistinguishable from “monarchist,” because there are no significant rival claimants to the throne. Conversely, in 19th-century France, a royalist might be either a Legitimist, Bonapartist, or an Orlxanist, all being monarchists.
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In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system. In at least some form, all types of organisms are capable of responding to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homeostasis as a stable whole.
An organism may be either unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise many trillions of cells grouped into specialized tissues and organs. The term multicellular (many cells) describes any organism composed of more than one cell.
All organisms living on Earth are divided into the eukaryotes and prokaryotes based on the presence or absence of true nuclei in their cells. The prokaryotes represent two separate domains, the Bacteria and Archaea. Eukaryotic organisms are characterized by the presence of a membrane-bound cell nucleus, and contain additional membrane-bound compartmentalization called organelles. Fungi, animals and plants are examples of kingdoms of organisms that are eukaryotes.
In 2002 Thomas Cavalier-Smith proposed a clade, Neomura, which groups together the Archaea and Eukarya. Neomura is thought to have evolved from Bacteria, more specifically from Actinobacteria. See Branching order of bacterial phyla.
The term “organism” 1st appeared in the English language in 1703 and took on its current definition by 1834 (Oxford English Dictionary). It is directly related to the term “organization”. There is a long tradition of defining organisms as self-organizing beings.
There has been a great deal of recent controversy about the best way to define the organism and indeed about whether or not such a definition is necessary. Several contributions are responses to the suggestion that the category of “organism” may well not be adequate in biology.
The word organism may broadly be defined as an assembly of molecules functioning as a more or less stable whole that exhibits the properties of life. However, many sources propose definitions that exclude viruses and theoretically possible man-made non-organic life forms. Viruses are dependent on the biochemical machinery of a host cell for reproduction.
In multicellular terms, “organism” usually describes the whole hierarchical assemblage of systems themselves collections of organs; these are, in turn, collections of tissues, which are themselves made of cells. In some plants and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, individual cells are totipotent.
A superorganism is an organism consisting of many individuals working together as a single functional or social unit.
The most common argument in support of viruses as living organisms is their ability to undergo evolution and replicate through self-assembly. Some scientists argue that viruses neither evolve, nor self- reproduce. In fact, viruses are evolved by their host cells, meaning that there was co-evolution of viruses and host cells. If host cells didn’t exist, viral evolution would be impossible. This isn’t true for cells. If viruses didn’t exist, the direction of evolution could be different; however, the ability to evolve would not be affected. As for the reproduction, viruses totally rely on hosts’ machinery to replicate themselves. The discovery of viral megagenomes with genes coding for energy metabolism and protein synthesis fueled the debate about whether viruses belong on the tree of life. The presence of these genes suggested that viruses could metabolize in the past. It was found later that the genes coding for energy and protein metabolism have cellular origin. Most likely, they were acquired through horizontal gene transfer from viral hosts.
All organisms are classified by the science of alpha taxonomy into either taxa or clades.
To give an example, Homo sapiens is the Latin binomial equating to modern humans. All members of the species sapiens are, at least in theory, genetically able to interbreed. Several species may belong to a genus, but the members of different species within a genus are usually unable to interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Homo only has one surviving species (sapiens), Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, etc. having become extinct thousands of years ago; some scientists argue for interbreeding between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis with fertile progeny. Several genera belong to the same family and so on up the hierarchy. Eventually, the relevant kingdom (Animalia, in the case of humans) is placed into one of the three domains depending upon certain genetic and structural characteristics.
All living organisms known to science are given classification by this system such that the species within a particular family are more closely related and genetically similar than the species within a particular phylum.
Since viruses aren’t living organisms, their classification is a challenging task. At first, viruses were classified according to their hosts: plant viruses, animal viruses, bacteriophages. Later, they were classified by the disease that they cause. For example, respiratory viruses, enterics. Now, viruses are classified based on the nucleic acid content, capsid symmetry and the presence or absence of the envelope.
Organisms are complex chemical systems, organized in ways that promote reproduction and some measure of sustainability or survival. The same laws that govern non-living chemistry govern the chemical processes of life. It is generally the phenomena of entire organisms that determine their fitness to an environment and therefore the survivability of their DNA-based genes.
Organisms clearly owe their origin, metabolism, and many other internal functions to chemical phenomena, especially the chemistry of large organic molecules. Organisms are complex systems of chemical compounds that, through interaction and environment, play a wide variety of roles.
Organisms are semi-closed chemical systems. Although they are individual units of life, they aren’t closed to the environment around them. To operate they constantly take in and release energy. Autotrophs produce usable energy (in the form of organic compounds) using light from the sun or inorganic compounds while heterotrophs take in organic compounds from the environment.
The primary chemical element in these compounds is carbon. The chemical properties of this element such as its great affinity for bonding with other small atoms, including other carbon atoms, and its small size making it capable of forming multiple bonds, make it ideal as the basis of organic life. It is able to form small three-atom compounds, as well as large chains of many thousands of atoms that can store data (nucleic acids), hold cells together, and transmit information (protein).
Compounds that make up organisms may be divided into macromolecules and other smaller molecules. The four groups of macromolecule are nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Nucleic acids store genetic data as a sequence of nucleotides. The particular sequence of the four different types of nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine) dictate many characteristics that constitute the organism. The sequence is divided up into codons, each of which is a particular sequence of three nucleotides and corresponds to a particular amino acid. Thus a sequence of DNA codes for a particular protein that, due to the chemical properties of the amino acids it is made from, folds in a particular manner and so performs a particular function.
A bilayer of phospholipids makes up the membrane of cells that constitutes a barrier, containing everything within the cell and preventing compounds from freely passing into, and out of, the cell.Due to the selective permeability of the phospholipid membraine only specific compounds can pass through it. In some multicellular organisms they serve as a storage of energy and mediate communication between cells. Carbohydrates are more easily broken down than lipids and yield more energy to compare to lipids and proteins.In fact, carbohydrates are the number one source of energy for all living organisms.
All organisms consist of monomeric units called cells; some contain a single cell and others contain many units (multicellular). Multicellular organisms are able to specialize cells to perform specific functions. A group of such cells is a tissue, and in animals these occur as four basic types, namely epithelium, nervous tissue, muscle tissue, and connective tissue. Several types of tissue work together in the form of an organ to produce a particular function (such as the pumping of the blood by the heart, or as a barrier to the environment as the skin). This pattern continues to a higher level with several organs functioning as an organ system to allow for reproduction, digestion, etc. Many multicell organisms consist of several organ systems, which coordinate to allow for life.
The cell theory, 1st developed in 1839 by Schleiden and Schwann, states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells; all cells come from preexisting cells; all vital functions of an organism occur within cells, and cells contain the hereditary information necessary for regulating cell functions and for transmitting information to the next generation of cells.
There are two types of cells, eukaryotic and prokaryotic. Prokaryotic cells are usually singletons, while eukaryotic cells are usually found in multicellular organisms. Prokaryotic cells lack a nuclear membrane so DNA is unbound within the cell, eukaryotic cells have nuclear membranes.
All cells, whether prokaryotic or eukaryotic, have a membrane, which envelops the cell, separates its interior from its environment, regulates what moves in and out, and maintains the electric potential of the cell. Inside the membrane, a salty cytoplasm takes up most of the cell volume. All cells possess DNA, the hereditary material of genes, and RNA, containing the information necessary to build various proteins such as enzymes, the cell’s primary machinery. There are also other kinds of biomolecules in cells.