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The following scene is from the 1995 comedy Clueless based on the Jane Austin novel Emma https://www.youtube.com/watch?

The following scene is from the 1995 comedy Clueless based on the Jane Austin novel Emma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYYoiRBH3PM

Scene Description: Cher and her friends live in their own "contempo-casual" culture and speak their own language (depicted throughout this scene with words such as "jeepin," "outie," and "buggin"'). Their linguistic code gives them a sense of shared identity and excludes those who are not in their group. Cher uses her group's jargon in a public speaking context, and her speech is not successful, demonstrating that language which is appropriate for an informal context is not appropriate for a formal one.

Discussion Questions:

  • Identify words/terms used by Cher and her friends that are unique to their culture. Which words/terms were not familiar to you?
  • Why do teenagers create new words and/or give old words new meanings?
  • Is it appropriate to use slang and jargon in public speeches?
  • Discuss this scene in terms of interpersonal, intercultural, and public speaking competence.
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