The Basketball Diaries is conspicuous for its graphic profanity. Many entries include at least one profane word, and in some cases, Carroll uses several. These profane words are used to describe sexual acts—in which case he uses many—and are often used for emphasis, even when describing relatively normal events. Carroll also includes a lot of slang—a type of language used in everyday life by common men and women, typically those in the lower or working classes. Slang words are often established words that have been given different meanings.