Slang Mangling
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'Blow them away Officer Huxley! We blow them away!'

Demolition Man

Basic Information

This characterization trope applies to a character who is using a specific slang, argot or patois wrongly - either out of ignorance or a deliberate desire to offend1.

The "out of ignorance" use is probably the most common and indicates a character who is trying (or pretending) to be streetwise … and failing. Often applied to middle class suburbanites trying to 'slum it', parents trying to communicate with teenage children or people pretending to competency in a foreign language. For time travellers, ye olde mangled englysh is a directly related phenomenon.

Deliberate use would smack of either extreme, belligerent confidence (as in someone prepared to insult a street gang to their faces) or bullying (if mocking a harmless group).


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • In games where there is a skill related to being "streetwise", this is an easy way to characterise a failed roll … in the case of a botch the mistake becomes hilarious or offensive.
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