Lansing State Journal claims
Dennis R Preston
preston at MSU.EDU
Thu Jan 6 15:50:04 UTC 2005
Local speakers and the media almost always agree that local speech is dying
out. That's because 1) it isn't the same as it used to be (therfore, on the
way out) and 2) they don't study it (as the MSU sociolinguistics team does,
which is happy to announce Yooper live and well).
Of course ADS didn't start WOTY as a copycat version of the Banished Words
nonsense, although, as I recall early discussions, some of the impetus for
WOTY may indeed have comne from a desire to counter prescriptivist bullshit
in general and such lists in particular.
Of course the Lansing State Journal, although they have consulted with us
from time to time, is like every other media outlet. If the question is
about chemistry, call a chemist; geology, call a geologist; language, call
any dumass. This especially pisses me off since one of my hobbyhorses, as is
well known, is folk linguistics, in which we try to take the comments about
language by real people (i.e., nonlinguists) seriously, as reflections of
the ethnographic record (and lots of other things we have wirtten about too
often to list here [e.g., Niedzielski and Preston, Folk Linguistics, Mouton
de Gruyter, 2000]). Linguistics in general is clearly the biggest Rodney
Dangerfield of the sciences.
Stahlke, Herbert F.W. writes:
> The Lansing State Journal announced on 12/23 that UP English,
> "Yooper-speak", is dying out.
> The January 1 edition also claims that the 30-year-old Lake Superior
> State University "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for
> Mis-Use, Over-Use, and General Uselessness" was imitated by the ADS
> "Words of the Year". How long has the ADS been doing this, and did the
> idea come from the LSSU list, as the LSJ claims?
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