The following scene is from the 1995 comedy Clueless based on the Jane Austin novel Emma

The following scene is from the 1995 comedy Clueless based on the Jane Austin novel Emma

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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