language as SES marker

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Nov 28 16:42:08 UTC 2000

Tim Frazer <tcf at MACOMB.COM> writes:

You might start by making an honest admission that our choice of "standard"
in any language is almost always the result of one group's lock on political
and economic power.      [...]

Realize, too, that many changes in English are part of processes which have
been going on since the Norman Invasion of England radically changed
English.       [...]
When kids say "me and him did it," they continue that process of
simplification.  It seems to me to be much more logical than "standard"
English.  We need to teach language arts with an informed attitude.  That

I agree as to the historical facts of language change and the origins of
perceived dialect superiority. But we must also acknowledge the social fact
of present and future perceived dialect superiority. "It seems to me to be
much more logical" has been said by many people of many things, including
socialism, the single tax, Esperanto, Christianity, Basic English,
democracy, dictatorship, and decimal currency. The success record is mixed.
Apparently, the appearance of logic is not enough to convince the rest of
the world.

Kids and teenagers tend to ignore or deny the importance of adult and
national/world culture to their lives. If these students are to succeed in
life beyond their current immediate circles, they must learn the forms of
language expected outside them.

   Mark A. Mandel : Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
          Mark_Mandel at : Senior Linguist
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :
                     (speaking for myself)

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