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Thread: Correcting Grammar

  1. #71
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I am an English teacher. I will correct grammar within the context of an academic background and advise my students to use the standard dialect in formal public settings (such as public speaking with a mixed audience and job interviews). I will not tell my students that the dialect they use at home and with their families is incorrect or improper.

    I personally try to regard the standard dialect as a "common ground" dialect. There are myths spun about it as the "proper" way to speak, which is absurd--there is nothing inherently correct about the standard dialect; quite frankly, it's the dialect of privilege and to say that the African American vernacular and Southern dialects make someone sound stupid is racist/classist. That said, I see that the standard dialect is valuable as being the language that everybody speaks (in order to maximize understanding one another).

    It's pretty tough, really, because I'm trying to propagate a new way of thinking about dialect, but I fear I am really just holding up the old prejudicial values. Still, my students need a command of the standard dialect to be successful, and to deny that would be to ultimately do them a great disservice.
    Exactly. I've had people tell me I mispronounce words (I say aunt like "unt" and not "ant", and "asked" like "assed" or "ast" instead of "axed") and that shit is annoying. You know what the hell I'm saying so why are you being a dick? Sometimes I do it on purpose to annoy people (maybe I should put this in the Bugging People thread).

    But I also realize the prestige dialect is necessary to communicate in business settings, and narrow minded idiots judge me incorrectly when I don't say things like them. AAVE is a linguistically valid and accepted form of English. If it became the standard people would have to speak it in order to be considered "articulate." With language if you understand the idea that someone is trying to convey why get bogged down in the language they use? If you're about communicating and not lording your superior command of English over people, you'd just translate what they say and respond in kind. No big deal.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #72
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Yes, it's really a give and take thing. Language changes constantly because the world continues to change, and there's a necessary tension between pragmatism (just getting your point across successfully) and maintaining a standardized language so that everyone works from at least a common baseline.

    Sometimes the standardized language does not cover the situation; yet, without the standardized language, everyone would go off in every direction, making communication more difficult in the long term.

    So I don't see the conflict between purists and pragmatists as bad -- to me, it is just part of the nature of the beast and helps society as a whole to remain moderate.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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