What is vulgarism?

If we go to the dictionary developed by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) to find out what the idea of ​​vulgarism refers to, we will find that the term refers to expressions that the vulgar usually use. This (vulgar) notion, in turn, is linked to ordinary people, who do not have special resources or knowledge.

In a broad sense, therefore, vulgarisms are expressions that people use in their daily lives. Following this reasoning, vulgarisms are associated with colloquial speech, so they are not part of the so-called cultured language. The concept of educated language is defined as the set of words, expressions and correct grammatical rules, which are generally used by individuals considered educated, that is, those who have completed higher education at a formal level or who enjoy a very rich culture because of of having fed on various sources of knowledge and having been interested in art, for example.

It is important to emphasize that educated language is not a closed and absolute set, since the social context is decisive in the use of language; For this reason, we can distinguish between formal polite language (that used in lectures and conferences on specific topics, among other events generally governed by firm structures) and informal polite language (that we can find in meetings of friends who have a good command of the language). In neither of the two areas mentioned above is vulgarism used, although this does not mean that no mistakes are made. An example of modifying a term that in the past was considered vulgarismo, but is now accepted as a correct form is found in the first person singular of the present indicative mood of the verb adecuar: although the originally accepted conjugation was “Adequada”, today in “proper” day is also accepted. Cases like this arise when most speakers of a language unknowingly adopt an incorrect form, and the language academy considers that imposing a correction would imply an unnecessary crack in the culture. However, it is common for the concept to be applied specifically to sayings and words that are used in place of the correct terms and phrases. It can be said, then, that vulgarisms are errors or defects, although they are often not the result of ignorance, but of regional ways of speaking or even the changes that the language undergoes throughout history . “I am angry with myself”, for example, is vulgarism. The correct way to express such anger would be as follows: “I am angry with myself . ” As can be seen, vulgarisms generally do not impede the understanding of the expression.

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“I stung myself with a bush” , “Stop eating the dog so it stops barking!” , “I hope there is a restaurant open at this hour”, “The doctor told me that I have to go on a diet” and “It is the best thing that ever happened to me” are other expressions that include vulgarisms and that, therefore, present incorrect words. In recent examples, we must replace the terms abuja , Delen , haiga , dotor and worse , with needle , Denle , there , Doctor and worse, respectively. Let’s look at some vulgarisms composed of more than one word, with the correct expression in parentheses: a la que (when); under the guise of (under the guise of); I grabbed and (then); against more (the more); of course (of course, of course); in your favor (in your favor, in your favor); be cursed (be cursed); more more).

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