missing variable in intro courses

Rudolph C Troike rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Sun Aug 13 06:04:15 UTC 2000

        Thanks so much for bringing up a genuinely significant question
for the list, and thanks to Larry for sharing a suggestion. Larry -- it
would be helpful to have also at least an outline of your lecture, and, as
Mai asked, any suggestions on how you handled the topic.
        In my American English course [still avoiding the term "dialect"
because of its inescapably perjorative meaning] last year, I too-briefly
included the topic under 'Slang', which I also usually deal with rather
briefly, although it is the one topic most undergrads resonate to most
readily. This is one context in which the topic can be easily introduced
since most of the usages tend to fit into this label. I usually give a
small survey assignment, and this time one student chose to do it within
the gay/lesbian community, looking for possible regional variation in
terminology (or difference in familiarity based on length of residence).
        It is also easy to bring the topic into the standard part of the
discussion of why linguistic differentiations of any type develop or are
maintained or lost (Yiddish being a prime historical example).


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