Learn American English slang: Fam and #FACTS. Get the facts!
Instagram posts with #FACTS: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/facts/
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See the whole Summer of Slang series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrqHrGoMJdTROsSGD_NkOae8QSuVur8ZI
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FACTS. Today is the last video in the summer of slang video series. Today, we’re learning ‘facts’ and ‘fam’ and in addition to these 2 slang terms, we’re also learning something interesting about consonant clusters with T.
Let’s start with fam, family. Both terms can be used to mean your people, your friends, your community, the group that’s important to you. Rachel’s English community, you are my family. If you’re texting a group of friends to get together, you might say: Hey fam! What are you doing tonight?
You really like the girls on your basketball team, don’t you? Yeah. They’re my fam.
A couple pronunciation things here: We have the AA vowel followed by the M consonant. So that changes the AA vowel a little bit, it’s not pure, it morphs into an UH sound: Faa— aa-uh, aa-uh, fam, fam. Fam. It’s not a pure AA, aa, faaaam. But fam, aa—aa—fam.
Now, with ‘family’, most people will make that a two-syllable word, FAM-ly. FAM-ly. It can also be three syllables: FAM-uh-li. And a lot of non-native speakers do that. But I suggest you stick with just two syllables, I think it sounds much more natural.
Family. Family. Family. Fam. Use these terms with people you love, you feel really connected to.
Now, FACTS. This one came to me through a friend who works in a high school. He says it’s being used as a response, an affirmative response. For example: That’s a dope sweater. Facts.
I did a little search on #facts on Instagram – always an amazing way to add context to the meaning of slang. #facts has over 11 million public posts. It’s used to be definitive. It’s like: What I’m saying is true. I think it can also be used to show defiance. It’s like, you say that, but I say this. And I say, facts. Because I don’t care what you say.
Check the link in the video description to see all of these public posts on Instagram and explore them. See if you can build nuance for your understanding of the word and use of FACTS. Also, in writing it’s common to put this in ALL CAPS.
Let’s talk about the pronunciation. In American English, we often drop the T between two other consonants. We do that here most of the time. Facts. Facts. I think once in this video, I made a really light T release: fatcs. But usually, we just say: facts. Facts. So don’t think about trying to make a T sound, just make KS. Facts. When you do this, it will sound just like this word: fax. That’s okay. Context is there to helps us tell the two words apart. So we often drop the T between 2 other consonants. A couple other words in which we can do this: directly, directly. I’m not saying the T there. It comes between 2 consonants. Exactly, exactly! Perfectly, you did that perfectly.
When is it okay to use slang, and when do you want to make sure you’re NOT using slang? I go over this in video 2 of the summer of slang series. Click here to check out the whole series, and learn lots of other American slang.
I also made a great podcast with my husband, who works in a high school, and is therefore surrounded by slang constantly. So go to the iTunes store or your favorite podcast distributor and search for it. It’s called The Rachel’s English podcast, I know, I got really creative with that name, didn’t I? The Rachel’s English podcast. I’m making new episodes once a week on Wednesday. They’re really fun! Check it out.