Published: April 19, 2023

Author: Connor Marshall
Advisor: Prof. Kira Hall, TA Forest Stuart
Class: LING 1000: Language in US Society 
Semester: Fall 2022 
LURA 2023 




Since I was 13, Destiny 2 has been one of my favorite games I’ve ever played. Destiny 2 is a massively multiplayer online game, meaning that all players play together simultaneously and become stronger “Guardians” of the last city on Earth. As someone who has played the game for so many years, I have always been fascinated by the way that Destiny jargon would change. By jargon, I mean the specialized terminology used by players to describe specific aspects of the game. For this project, I decided to look deeper into those changes, and specifically how those jargon changes affected players starting their Destiny journey as well as players returning after an extended break. 

Whenever I would return to Destiny after some time away, I realized that I had a slew of new jargon terms to learn. More interestingly, however, there was a barrier between older and new or returning players that I would need to overcome. Older players typically saw themselves as superior to new players, especially when it came to the jargon they used. A lack of familiarity with new jargon indexed incompetence as a Destiny player whether that was true or not. This perception from other players led me to question whether there was a relationship between the amount of jargon a Destiny player used and how successful they were in an activity. 

After defining a few key Destiny jargon and explaining their word formation processes, I began my experiment. The most difficult activity to complete within Destiny 2 is called a “raid.” Raids are six-person activities consisting of typically four or more separate sequential objectives that usually take around two hours to complete. I assembled three separate raid teams and tracked the amount of jargon used by the team during each full raid completion. Along with this, I tracked the time it took to complete the raid as well as a one-to-ten score reflecting how difficult the raid was to complete. I won’t spoil my results shown in my video essay, embedded above, but they were fascinating. 

Overall, this was an incredibly fun project to complete, and I’m so grateful for the recognition it has received. I want to specifically thank my extremely helpful TA, Forest Stuart, for their support, as well as Professor Hall for a fantastic semester.


Image Credit 


  1. Wolfram-Schilling 2016, American English Dialects and Variation, 64

  2. Wolfram-Schilling 2016, American English Dialects and Variation, 65

  3. Wolfram-Schilling 2016, American English Dialects and Variation, 61

  4. Bucholtz 2012, “Word Up: Social Meanings of Slang in California Youth Culture, 283-284 Lippi Green et al 2022, English with an Accent, 112