missing variable in intro courses

Mai Kuha mkuha at BSUVC.BSU.EDU
Sun Aug 13 17:28:31 UTC 2000

At 11:04 PM -0700 8/12/00, Rudolph C Troike was like:

> >   (...) 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. (...)

And then, on Sun, 13 Aug 2000, Laurence Horn was all:
> I'm not sure most of my discussion of orientation as a linguistic
> variable really fits within a general discussion of slang, although
> we do touch on some issues in that intersection in a different part
> of the course.  (...)

Still, it's an interesting alternative for organizing the topics. Instead
of having, so to speak, a "sexual orientation day" on the course schedule,
a general discussion of pragmatics and cross-cultural communication could
be a good place to discuss e.g. the exchanges with subtle "gay-centered
messages and meanings" that Leap reports. Other aspects could be brought
up during discussions of language & identity, and so on. Done right, this
organization of topics might even send a more inclusive message.

Mai Kuha                  mkuha at bsuvc.bsu.edu
Department of English     (765) 285-8410
Ball State University

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