The Golden Rule of Dialects

David Bergdahl bergdahl at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Tue May 18 17:52:15 UTC 1999

I just had lunch with Bev's colleague--the one who claims to have invented the
golden rule--and he said that he had had a class w/Walt Wolfram at Indiana
before coming to Ohio in '72 and devised "The Golden Rule of Dialects" which
is "he who has the gold speaks the best dialect."  I challenged him as to
whether he might have gotten the original witticism from The Wizard of Id and
modified it, but no, he said they had studied Labov on social differentiation
of dialects and he had invented it whole hog in order to make the "x has the
best [or worst] dialect" discussion comprehensible to undergraduates.

-- db
David Bergdahl            Ohio University /Athens       tel: (740) 593-2783
home page:    fax: (740) 593-2818

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