:-) mostly -- McWhorter on "standard English"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 14 18:16:53 UTC 2010

The received wisdom in my day was that "no one speaks standard English,
though many write it."

But that depends on what you mean by "standard English."  Usually it is
regarded as a written standard, with idiosyncracies of spelling and grammar
weeded out.

If you consider "standard English" to apply to speech, whose dialect do you
The BBC used to have lofty and restricted standards, as did the British
educational system, but their effect on Americans was to simply to make
British broadcasters and Conservative politicians sound like experts or

Speaking as both expert *and* snob, I find this application of "standard
English"  misleading at the very least, unless you believe that old-time
Tories and BBC news readers should be, on whatever curious
principle, the standard-bearers of the English language.


> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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