| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:09 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 161 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:06 am 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3127
Location: BKLN
i love the word maven (although i don't always agree with her). i love words. i love them the way other people might love rare coins or ghost orchids or, i don't know, wax cylinders. i read the dictionary for pleasure all the time. don't judge the passion. it's a mistake to assume that an interest in language automatically leads to condescension toward those who use it differently (i'm not sure that was your point, but i'm also not sure why you'd have mentioned it here if it weren't). more often, it leads to tiny, private flares of joy at some combination of letters or words that is unexpected and elegant and (subjectively, as ever) beautiful. some linguists are kumquats, but that is not directly correlated with their status as linguists.

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:23 am 
Online
Flounceiad 2011
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:26 pm
Posts: 5495
Location: A New England
acr wrote:
i love the word maven (although i don't always agree with her). i love words. i love them the way other people might love rare coins or ghost orchids or, i don't know, wax cylinders. i read the dictionary for pleasure all the time. don't judge the passion. it's a mistake to assume that an interest in language automatically leads to condescension toward those who use it differently (i'm not sure that was your point, but i'm also not sure why you'd have mentioned it here if it weren't). more often, it leads to tiny, private flares of joy at some combination of letters or words that is unexpected and elegant and (subjectively, as ever) beautiful. some linguists are kumquats, but that is not directly correlated with their status as linguists.
Exactly. And thank you for putting it so nicely.

_________________
Nothing is safe from weiners in my neighborhood... ~ crowderpea
I didn't embarrass him by saying anything about wanking ~ 8ball
"SMLOUNCE!" ~ smurfterrobang?!
http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:36 am 
Offline
rowdily playing checkers
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 2993
But "word mavens" aren't interested in language. They're interested in preserving some preferred, reified version of a language--the collector metaphor is appropriate. The difference between a linguist and a word maven is the difference between a lepidopterist and a butterfly collector. Me, I just want to sit in a field and watch them flutter.

They're not all terrible, of course. Patricia T. O'Conner isn't that bad. But the audience for that stuff is kind of telling.

_________________
"Tits are inconsequential, but someone pass me that kitten" ~ papayapaprikás


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:41 am 
Offline
Bought a used copy of Natural Harvest
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:29 pm
Posts: 6110
Location: Land of Maple and Beavers
acr wrote:
i love the word maven (although i don't always agree with her). i love words. i love them the way other people might love rare coins or ghost orchids or, i don't know, wax cylinders. i read the dictionary for pleasure all the time. don't judge the passion. it's a mistake to assume that an interest in language automatically leads to condescension toward those who use it differently (i'm not sure that was your point, but i'm also not sure why you'd have mentioned it here if it weren't). more often, it leads to tiny, private flares of joy at some combination of letters or words that is unexpected and elegant and (subjectively, as ever) beautiful. some linguists are kumquats, but that is not directly correlated with their status as linguists.


yes. I love words very much, too.

_________________
Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:45 am 
Offline
Just Loathin' Around!
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 7211
Location: bindlestiff
just mumbles wrote:
But "word mavens" aren't interested in language. They're interested in preserving some preferred, reified version of a language--the collector metaphor is appropriate. The difference between a linguist and a word maven is the difference between a lepidopterist and a butterfly collector. Me, I just want to sit in a field and watch them flutter.

They're not all terrible, of course. Patricia T. O'Conner isn't that bad. But the audience for that stuff is kind of telling.

Yes indeed. And you've given me terrible flashbacks now.

_________________
Ovoids=not vegan --invictus

Panda With Cookie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:49 am 
Offline
Saggy Butt
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:24 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Toronto
Quote:
I think that being able to use proper formal grammar in the times and contexts when it's appropriate, and being able to recognize those contexts, is a good skill to have. I just don't think that that article was making that point at all.


This about sums up where I'm at. I am fascinated by language in a lot of ways, and I do think that some basic knowledge of the general rules of the language in which one operates is valuable -- if you know the rules, you can use them to your advantage when it's beneficial, and you can break them when it doesn't matter. I certainly communicate differently in different circumstances and I'm glad I am lucky enough to be able to do that and to use it to my advantage.

That said, I have also fallen on the other side of the coin. I lived in Newfoundland for all of middle school and high school, and the dialect and accent that most people from that part of Canada have is viewed with no small amount of disdain in other parts of the country. My father jettisoned his Newfie accent and dialect when he left the province in his late teens, and often told us that if we talked like Newfs, people in other parts of the country would assume we were dumb. Sadly, that is true. It's unfair, but it's true.

Personally, I've cut out almost all of the dialect and the accent; I do still make errors with subject/verb agreement, which is not uncommon in Newfoundland dialect. Some people tell me that I have an accent, some don't think I do at all; I definitely do when I'm drunk or angry, though. And frankly, I LIKE the accent; I find it charming, and it reminds me of home. The dialect, not as much, I'll admit. But unfortunately, people seem to hold the "Newfie = dumb" association even if you are speaking with technically perfect English, as long as you've got that East Coast drawl.

It's relative though; keeping the accent -- and definitely keeping the dialect -- would have been a big hindrance to me while living in Ontario, working journalism. It would have implied certain things about my command of the English language that would not have done me many professional favours. (Again, unfair but true.) My brother, however, stayed in Newfoundland; he works on Coast Guard boats, and his extremely thick and traditional accent and dialect has posed him no difficulties. Honestly, he'd probably have a harder time fitting in in his chosen career without it.

_________________
The Vegina Monologues
@terri_to on Twitter


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:06 pm 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:08 pm
Posts: 1017
Location: Notavandownbytheriver
hoveringdog™ wrote:
just mumbles wrote:
I think it's pretty uncontroversial that being able to speak and write in a formal register and knowing when it's appropriate to do so is an important skill in professional circles (although you can certainly succeed without it, if your other skills are sought after).


I'd be willing to bet, in fact, that some of the hobby horses of old-school usage adherents could actually do you harm in most workplaces outside English education or related fields. Responding "this is he" or "this is she" on the phone, for example, sounds pretentious or just plain wrong to the rest of the English-speaking world.


And saying something like "none of you is going on the trip" will stilt you in being taken seriously as an English teacher.

Oh my god, I have so much to say about this, and I need to be packing up my apartment. Life is unfair.

_________________
"So often I wish Adam were a real boy." - interrobang?!
"If he was you'd hear him farting at the back of your yoga class." - 8ball


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:09 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3127
Location: BKLN
just mumbles wrote:
But "word mavens" aren't interested in language. They're interested in preserving some preferred, reified version of a language--the collector metaphor is appropriate. The difference between a linguist and a word maven is the difference between a lepidopterist and a butterfly collector. Me, I just want to sit in a field and watch them flutter.

They're not all terrible, of course. Patricia T. O'Conner isn't that bad. But the audience for that stuff is kind of telling.


i am the audience for that stuff. and i feel that you're generalizing in an unfair way. but i don't want to argue anymore. i see your point; i think you see mine. let's go sit in the butterfly field, and i'll read you the fifth page of W's from merriam-webster's 11th. think about it before you say no; that's the page with "wallydraigle."

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:20 pm 
Offline
rowdily playing checkers
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 2993
Desdemona wrote:
Really?

I think so, yes. I think you were making a much stronger claim than that.

just mumbles wrote:
But now you're being purely subjective - of course you don't have to "get the fascination," or even find this subject vaguely interesting. But it seems to me that some people's lack of interest shouldn't invalidate the fascination with and/or investment in language of others, any more than groaning at a misplaced apostrophe should invalidate the information the sign-painter was trying to get across (unless that misplaced apostrophe renders its meaning obscure). Or does this only work one way?

No, I'm quite happy to say that subjectivity runs through the whole enterprise, which wouldn't invalidate people's interest in deathly dull rules of conduct if it weren't for the fact that what they're interested in is a set of rules of conduct that tend to be outwardly facing. If people want to be interested in this stuff and discuss the rules only with each other, then they're like Nickleback fans--I don't get it, but what people do in their own bedrooms is none of my business. If people want to enforce these rules outside of the Standard English fan club (and they always, always do), then they're more like Nickleback fans who insist that you also like Nickleback.

_________________
"Tits are inconsequential, but someone pass me that kitten" ~ papayapaprikás


Last edited by mumbles on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:27 pm 
Offline
rowdily playing checkers
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 2993
acr wrote:
i am the audience for that stuff. and i feel that you're generalizing in an unfair way. but i don't want to argue anymore. i see your point; i think you see mine. let's go sit in the butterfly field, and i'll read you the fifth page of W's from merriam-webster's 11th. think about it before you say no; that's the page with "wallydraigle."

Hmm. I feel more like I'm generalizing in an awesome way? But I don't hate people for liking words or whaddevs, I just hate the schoolmarmishness (so sexist) that comes along with it.

_________________
"Tits are inconsequential, but someone pass me that kitten" ~ papayapaprikás


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:34 pm 
Offline
Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 10295
Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
terri_to wrote:
Quote:
I think that being able to use proper formal grammar in the times and contexts when it's appropriate, and being able to recognize those contexts, is a good skill to have. I just don't think that that article was making that point at all.


This about sums up where I'm at. I am fascinated by language in a lot of ways, and I do think that some basic knowledge of the general rules of the language in which one operates is valuable -- if you know the rules, you can use them to your advantage when it's beneficial, and you can break them when it doesn't matter. I certainly communicate differently in different circumstances and I'm glad I am lucky enough to be able to do that and to use it to my advantage.

That said, I have also fallen on the other side of the coin. I lived in Newfoundland for all of middle school and high school, and the dialect and accent that most people from that part of Canada have is viewed with no small amount of disdain in other parts of the country. My father jettisoned his Newfie accent and dialect when he left the province in his late teens, and often told us that if we talked like Newfs, people in other parts of the country would assume we were dumb. Sadly, that is true. It's unfair, but it's true.

It's relative though; keeping the accent -- and definitely keeping the dialect -- would have been a big hindrance to me while living in Ontario, working journalism. It would have implied certain things about my command of the English language that would not have done me many professional favours. (Again, unfair but true.) My brother, however, stayed in Newfoundland; he works on Coast Guard boats, and his extremely thick and traditional accent and dialect has posed him no difficulties. Honestly, he'd probably have a harder time fitting in in his chosen career without it.


I love Newfie accents! I had no idea they were associated with a lack of intelligence, but then again, I've lived on the prairies and west coast for most of my life.

I like striving to write and speak by the books, but I don't expect everyone to care about that stuff.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:05 pm 
Offline
Thinks Plants Have Feelings

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 61
Quote:
I would happily pay more taxes if it meant a more complete social services net.


I have never understood why someone who "says" they feel this way would vote for the democratic party. The democratic party is simply a more sophisticated (and less crazy) apparatus for redistribution of wealth upwards. The democrats feel your "pain" while funnelling trillions in guarantees and subsidies to the ultra-rich. Despite the ruinous deflation of a fraud-fuelled speculative bubble, democrats have failed to prosecute a single major "FIRE" infestor or bankster. The democrats talk about saving social services while selecting banksters from JP Morgan Chase to serve on a "cat food" commission whose main goal is to cut entitlements. I think its kafkaesque to criticize people for not voting for their own interests when the choices are oligarch-owned party D and oligarch-owned party R.


Quote:
Everyone professes to want to help end poverty.


Wow. Just wow. Please provide a quote from a recent national political campaign where poverty was discussed in a serious manner. Even the felonious Nixon was a far better advocate for the poor than any democrat in the last three decades:

http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/era ... s-and-70s/

Quote:
Other Great Society programs included the...Food Stamp Program...This program was later expanded, standardized (in terms of eligibility), and made mandatory in all states during the Nixon Administration.

Quote:
Legislation enacted by the Nixon Administration included the Supplemental Security Income program in 1972.49 This legislation brought Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, and Aid to the Disabled under the sole administration of the Social Security Administration of the federal government. Supplemental Security Income, better known as “SSI,” provided assistance to people with mental and physical disabilities.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:17 pm 
Offline
Saggy Butt
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:24 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Toronto
I'm glad someone appreciates them, vijita! I do think it's more of an Ontario-centric attitude, re. the accent. And I say that loving Ontario and living here, but it's been my experience.

_________________
The Vegina Monologues
@terri_to on Twitter


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:18 pm 
Online
Flounceiad 2011
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:26 pm
Posts: 5495
Location: A New England
just mumbles wrote:
No, I'm quite happy to say that subjectivity runs through the whole enterprise, which wouldn't invalidate people's interest in deathly dull rules of conduct if it weren't for the fact that what they're interested in is a set of rules of conduct that tend to be outwardly facing. If people want to be interested in this stuff and discuss the rules only with each other, then they're like Nickleback fans--I don't get it, but what people do in their own bedrooms is none of my business. If people want to enforce these rules outside of the Standard English fan club (and they always, always do), then they're more like Nickleback fans who insist that you also like Nickleback.
First we had apartheid, and now we have Nickelback. While this is all clever and amusing in the extreme (even - dare I say it?! - articulate), all the glib snarkiness in the world won't change the fact that standardized usage exists, will continue to exist and be taught in our education system, and will continue to form the basis for a wide variety of judgements that are made about speakers and writers of English (whether fairly or unfairly) throughout their lives. Whether we like it, dislike it, or find it "deathly dull," we encourage people - particularly students just learning to express themselves in formal contexts - to ignore this at their peril.

But Org bored now - first find food, then read book.

_________________
Nothing is safe from weiners in my neighborhood... ~ crowderpea
I didn't embarrass him by saying anything about wanking ~ 8ball
"SMLOUNCE!" ~ smurfterrobang?!
http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:23 pm 
Offline
rowdily playing checkers
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 2993
You're write, that Nickleback thing was over the line. I apologize.

_________________
"Tits are inconsequential, but someone pass me that kitten" ~ papayapaprikás


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:27 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3127
Location: BKLN
Desdemona wrote:
Whether we like it, dislike it, or find it "deathly dull," we encourage people - particularly students just learning to express themselves in formal contexts - to ignore this at their peril.


it's this. i don't know how we would teach a language as odd as english without a set of hard rules. there has to be some standard. it will, inevitably, be somewhat arbitrary, just like language itself, and it will be enforced by schoolmarms and the schoolmarmish, but you can't say that it shouldn't exist. where else would we begin?

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:50 pm 
Offline
Grandfathered In
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 9573
Location: Seattle
Ah! But what does it mean to "teach English" to a bunch of fluent English-speakers?

What it often means is teaching a particular, arbitrarily favored variety of English. And it's a variety with its own silliness (like the prohibition against split infinitives, the insistence that "double negatives" are somehow illogical or ambiguous, some invented distinction between will and shall, the fetishization of whom, and others).

But I acknowledge that this variety exists and has agreed-upon uses. It's a variety I am comfortable conversing in. Oh, I mean, um... a variety in which I comfortable conversing.


I mostly said "fetishization of whom" because I thought it would make me look cool.

_________________
Did somebody say Keep on rockin?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:50 pm 
Offline
***LIES!!!***
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 3755
lutin wrote:
FootFace wrote:
I don't know that it's true that "language molds thought."


I can think of a couple of Max Planck-produced cog sci studies that kinda sorta support this claim.


This.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:50 pm 
Offline
We So Excited
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:44 pm
Posts: 575
There is a difference between challenging it and ignoring it. I would argue that a lot of the people challenging the power structures in the idea of a standard English are best recognizing it. Talking about the idea of language registers and the need to use the right one at the right time is more empowering than identifying some speech as ignorant. Students who feel compelled to choose between education and identity often go with identity. Or they try to choose education and "proper English" badly, and make mistakes from overcorrecting. Ironically, a lot of errors come from this desire to sound classy--using "between you and I" because your second grade teacher inadvertently taught you never to use me in correcting all the "me and my brother" type errors. More knowledge of language helps, but so does confidence and fluency, which both can be hampered by an emphasis on proper grammar. Lisa Delpit and June Jordan have both written great stuff about teaching kids to recognize and use different language registers without disowning or disdaining their home dialects, and in doing so, giving them a real, detailed education about the workings of language.
I agree with the claim that standard English is standard because it reflects the culture of power--not the other way around. But I also agree that it can't be ignored--from either side. Saying let's throw off these neckties and everybody say ain't and use double negatives damn the consequences forks over anyone who is then not taught to operate in a more formal register, but reifying that more formal register as right and good and every usage outside of it as ignorant forks everyone over and holds up a lot of ugly structures.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:57 pm 
Offline
We So Excited
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:44 pm
Posts: 575
FootFace wrote:


I mostly said "fetishization of whom" because I thought it would make me look cool.


My first year teaching I had a student who insisted that "whom" was the correct word, because it sounded classy. She would ask, "whom has the pass?" I can laugh, or cringe, but she didn't invent the idea herself. Fetishizing indeed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:57 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3127
Location: BKLN
FootFace wrote:
Ah! But what does it mean to "teach English" to a bunch of fluent English-speakers?

What it often means is teaching a particular, arbitrarily favored variety of English. And it's a variety with its own silliness (like the prohibition against split infinitives, the insistence that "double negatives" are somehow illogical or ambiguous, some invented distinction between will and shall, the fetishization of whom, and others).

But I acknowledge that this variety exists and has agreed-upon uses. It's a variety I am comfortable conversing in. Oh, I mean, um... a variety in which I comfortable conversing.


I mostly said "fetishization of whom" because I thought it would make me look cool.


i was not thinking of teaching it primarily or exclusively to fluent english-speakers. but more important, "the fetishization of whom" sounds like hot, tweedy lexicographer porn, and someone should write it right now.

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:07 pm 
Offline
rowdily playing checkers
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 2993
Yes, I don't think anyone is suggesting that students should stage a sit-in during their English composition classes. It's true that there's a standard that exists and that you need to learn if you want to navigate the relevant situations.

It's also true, however, that this standard will change over time. And that every generation will lament the declining standards of their time. I mean, a few scant centuries ago, the formal language of English speakers was an interesting dialect called "Latin". Fifty years ago, the older generation was lamenting the fact that educated people were no longer learning Greek and Latin at all. Who speaks these languages today? Are we really worse off for it?

And let's recall that it is this relaxing of standard that is being equated to "dumbing down" in the article we're sort of discussing. So the distance between formal and informal English is decreasing. So what? Unless there's some interesting idea that you cannot easily express now, this does not seem like a concern to me. And it's perfectly consistent with the idea that there is or has to be some standard.

_________________
"Tits are inconsequential, but someone pass me that kitten" ~ papayapaprikás


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:14 pm 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 1082
Location: Denver
just mumbles wrote:
Yes, I don't think anyone is suggesting that students should stage a sit-in during their English composition classes. It's true that there's a standard that exists and that you need to learn if you want to navigate the relevant situations.

It's also true, however, that this standard will change over time. And that every generation will lament the declining standards of their time. I mean, a few scant centuries ago, the formal language of English speakers was an interesting dialect called "Latin". Fifty years ago, the older generation was lamenting the fact that educated people were no longer learning Greek and Latin at all. Who speaks these languages today? Are we really worse off for it?

And let's recall that it is this relaxing of standard that is being equated to "dumbing down" in the article we're sort of discussing. So the distance between formal and informal English is decreasing. So what? Unless there's some interesting idea that you cannot easily express now, this does not seem like a concern to me. And it's perfectly consistent with the idea that there is or has to be some standard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:28 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3127
Location: BKLN
it's . . . not really the same. the author of that article starts off whinging about the increasing informality of the spoken word in general, but the point he really wants to make is that republicans (or maybe just southerners) are trying to turn our brains to oatmeal by saying insurance. i don't agree with him even a little. but if you believe that a standard does and should exist, however mutable it might be, i don't see how you could refuse to concede that deviations from the current standard are, at least for the moment, incorrect.

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Grammar and a Culture of Ignorance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:36 pm 
Offline
***LIES!!!***
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 3755
Friday wrote:
There is a difference between .....


Everything Friday said is amazing and true.

I went to private (religious, rather than secular/tweedy) school and then public schools that were considered excellent. I was never taught about split infinitives, double negatives, etc., but I came out of that system with writing skills that were considered excellent by all of my college and graduate professors. I remember being taught to write as I spoke and I continue to write that way (obviously I was taught a thing or two about constructing an argument as well). Teaching students whose spoken language doesn't already mostly match up with standard written English must be incredibly difficult for both the teacher and the students. And I agree with what almost everybody said above - those writing skills and the ability to talk in something like standard English matter enormously if you want to overcome a system pitted against you.

And whatever New Jersey accent I have I developed living outside of New Jersey, as a point of pride.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 161 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fleurdenoir and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer