Conversate and basically

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Thu Jan 25 00:17:21 UTC 2001

>Please continue to expose your prejudices about language on this
>list. I copy them down for folk linguistic work with great relish.
>I'm especially fond of particularly visceral reactions.


>It's yucky because it's not standard English, Beverly.  That doesn't
>necessarily make it bad or evil or the first step down the slippery slope to
>ruin for the language, but it does indicate that the speaker has neither the
>time nor the inclination to discover the traditional term which he or she is
>aiming for.  I find it charming and disarming in folks who've not had
>extended educational opportunities.  I find it disturbing and reprehensible
>and outright hilarious when it comes from folks who--I'm sorry to say
>it--should know better.
>Hey, I enjoy and love a fluid and lively language, one that is dynamic and
>open to change.  But this, at least for me, is not that type of change.
>It's just careless, and it smacks of the type of thinking that anytime one
>can add a syllable to a term, whether it's valid or not, it's good.  Our
>students don't need to see this type of hooey coming from either their
>fellows, who set themselves up as semi-experts when they become writers, or
>from the man who wants to become the nation's attorney general.  He should
>know better, as well.
>It's yucky.
>Sorry--I'm not feeling very tolerant today.
>>  From: Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
>>  Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:52:21 -0500
>>  Subject: Re: Conversate and basically
>>  "Conversate" was used over a year ago by an African American columnist in
>>  our student newspaper.  What's yucky about it?
>>  _____________________________________________
>>  Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
>>  Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
>>  Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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