Saving the World (was online accent quiz)

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 3 20:58:06 UTC 2006

About 20 people have tried to reason with this person in just this way. It is
hopeless. He says things such as "linguists are prejudiced," and he believes
that there is "right" pronunciation and "wrong" pronunciation--and HE somehow
has the authority to make such pronouncements. He is obsessed with the fact
that the vowels in "cot" and "caught" are merging for some people, and declares
that this is simply laziness on their part. He is obsessed with spelling
pronunciations, yet he would apparently alter English spelling to conform to his
own way of pronouncing words when the two do not agree. He often simply ignores
arguments that contradict his pronouncements. He has apparently paid good
money to publish books that announce his own "sytem"--which he feels will go a
long way towards stamping out illiteracy and crime. I

 have gone from feeling angry that he clutters up ADS-L with his nonsense to
trying to have compassion for what I take to be a harmless, well-meaning
fellow who would really like to save at least a small portion of the world. I keep
telling myself that I am going to follow the example of the really smart
people on this list and just ignore him.

In a message dated 12/3/06 3:40:08 PM, spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

> What you call mispronunciation is a large part of what makes a dialect a
> dialect. If you say the speakers of certain dialects are mispronouncing
> their words, then you are saying that their dialect is wrong. Personally, I
> won't say that someone's natural language is wrong just because they
> pronounce "pen" and "pin" the same. Someone might tell me that my dialect is
> wrong too for extending the length of the "o" in Minnesota, but I don't
> think it is. It's just different. I personally think we, as linguists,
> should be just describing the way people speak instead of telling them they
> are wrong and trying to prescribe.
> Scot LaFaive

The American Dialect Society -

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