Commentary: Different?

Published: 2021-08-01 17:45:07
essay essay

Category: Language, English Language, Slang

Type of paper: Essay

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The text is a monologue and inspired by two other kinds of texts. Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" and (to a lesser extent) a text I discovered by Carol Ann Duffy called Comprehensive. It is present in the AQA English Language and Literature Anthology for 2003, 2004, 2005.
The purpose of the text is as a means of entertaining an audience of a younger age (possibly in between the ages of 12-18) that are aware of the groups of people concerned (who are usually teenagers themselves) and also of their colloquialisms. This targets mostly those who are affected or annoyed by these types of people within their daily lives. (People in the Birmingham area of this age are more likely to understand the dialect). A person that fits into this category should hopefully find that the text is true to real life, and also quite amusing.
The piece begins as one of Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" would. As his works were written with the assumption that they would be visual for a watching audience as well as just for a listening audience, he wrote, what could be referred to as stage directions in italics at the top of each monologue. I have done this also as I think it sets the scene well and perhaps gives away more information about each character. The genre of the piece (monologue) does not really confine me in terms of the subject matter or layout but I feel that its genre is evident from merely viewing the layout and maybe reading the first paragraph.

I did not feel it suitable for either person to greet the audience, as they would be talking to a camera and not a person. This also would not aid me in any way when putting across my attitudes. Instead I continued straight into both characters speeches as a means of making the passage run more smoothly.
There is not just a single attitude that I am trying to get across in writing this text but they are all linked in that my 'complaints' all refer to the groups known to me and many others as "greebos" and "Kevs". I have attempted to explain these two groups of people's attitudes (as I see it as an outsider looking in) towards their own lives and, more importantly, to each other. I have also made clear use of slang with each person to show the listener how confusing some of the slang that teenager's use today is and how the language varies between the different groups (i.e. one would rarely hear a 'greebo' say the word "wicked" unless it were as a means of imitating a 'kev'). I have tried to show how humorous some of the words and phrases used sound, and in some cases, how they make no sense whatsoever, for example, the names of these groups alone are somewhat confusing and do not give us any clue as to what it means to be a member of these groups. Even though I am familiar with these groups, I do not know where their group names or the language they use is derived from.
They have both somehow managed to inherit a kind of stereotype description, which everyone can refer to if either the word "greebo" or "Kev" is used. Part of the message that I am trying to put across is trying to, explain that most "Kevs" and "greebos" do not fit their stereotype description at all. For example, according to Tom, Jack and 'his kind' do not like the game of football, "what kind of a person doesn't like football!?", when clearly Jack states that he has "got a season ticket for City" and he enjoys going to the games.
"Filthy scum get outta Brum'"
"Bopping" around in their "Rocky P's"
Tom and Jack speak in an informal manner (shown above), as if they are talking to a friend instead of in a more impersonal way. They both presume that the listener understands the slang that they use. I felt that if they didn't do this, then my attitude towards the language that they use would seem less obvious. Despite their supposed initial feelings of being comfortable talking at a camera, towards the end of both monologues the boys both seem to feel threatened after arriving at the subject of befriending a member of the opposite group. At this point there are a lot of stops and stutterings marked by "...", and finally - seemingly as a means of escape - both come to an abrupt end and what looks like a farewell without an explanation of where they have to rush off to and why they have to go wherever they are going so quickly!
In reality, the stereotype "greebo" is exactly as the "kev" describes and the stereotype "kev" is exactly how Jack describes, but their minds do not seem to be open enough or able to grasp the concept that not all of the opposing group are like this. If what Tom Foster believes were true then there would not be many "greebos" alive to get exasperated about because presumably they will have all "slit their wrists". Only in extreme cases only are their faces covered in piercings and not all of them despise football (as I have shown using Jack). The "greebo" that I have used in my monologue does not give us any evidence that he worships Satan either despite what the "kev" believes and the "kev" is even in a relationship with a "greebo" despite this being against his ethics.
When talking about Eminem, (a music artist popular with both groups) Jack refers to him as "one of us". When he says this the listener would realise what he means by "us" even though he gives us no clue as to what it means. This shows that he knows that he is part of a group (the "greebos") and by saying that he is one of them is a way of making his music only acceptable for them to listen to rather than "Kevs", and as he continues he explains that "Kevs" listen to his music for the wrong reasons almost saying that they should not be permitted to listen to it.
"cos they'll get thinking that he is one of them" "These 'greebo's' sicken me". These quotes show that they talk down on each other as if they were somehow of a lower class and referring to each other as "them" gives a feeling of hostility even though they are so similar in many ways. The only real difference is in the clothes that they wear and the music that they listen to.
Although it may seem that I have exaggerated the amount of times that both Tom and Jack use slang I assure you this is no exaggeration:
"He's the only safe one". The word "safe" is just one of the slang words used by Jack in his monologue. If he were using Standard English then he would have said "He is the only one that is trustworthy and that I like."
I emphasise the separate groups pronunciation of words as a means of making the monologues appear more like spontaneous speech as (if the piece were to be acted out as it should be) this would be the way I would want the 'actors' to speak. I also tried to do this by changing the subject abruptly in various places throughout the monologues.
i.e. ". It's never about the music with them, just baselines and how "tweaked" the snare drum is, whatever that means.
So anyway, we decided that they were takin over too much in Birmingham so..."
They accuse and criticise each other for doing the same things while oblivious to the fact that meanwhile members of the opposite group are accusing them of doing the same thing. For example, Jack says "It's never about the music with them" while earlier on in Toms monologue he says, "We go for the music, not to get 'wasted'" This insinuates of course that it is never about the music for "greebos" either. If we took both peoples word for it then neither of them listens to music because they want to listen to music. I don't though and find these accusations preposterous.
I believe the way in which each person ends the conversation. The language that they both use is comedic and further helps me to convey how both groups rather weird variation of the English language baffles me. Despite this, ending their monologues in the ways that they do sums up both characters.

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