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

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Sat Jan 16 02:01:09 UTC 2010

> Register?  Not nearly as clear as "dialect" =20
> Tom Zurinskas=2C USA - CT20=2C TN3=2C NJ33=2C FL7+=20
> see truespel.com phonetic spelling

Perhaps not so clear, but more appropriate in this context.

"In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular
purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, an English speaker
may adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending
in -ing with a velar nasal instead of an alveolar nasal (e.g. "walking", not
"walkin'"), choose more formal words (e.g. train vs. choo-choo, sodium
chloride vs. salt, child vs. kid, etc.), and refrain from using the word
ain't when speaking in a formal setting, but the same person could violate
all of these prescriptions in an informal setting."

Whereas dialect:

"The term dialect (from the Greek word _dialektos_) is used in two
distinct ways, even by scholars of language. One usage refers to a variety
of a language that is characteristic of a particular group of the language's
speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a
dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class. <...>
The other usage refers to a language socially subordinate to a regional or
national standard language, often historically cognate to the standard, but
not a variety of it or in any other sense derived from it."

They are quite distinct terms, at least in my idiolect.

Robin Hamilton

>> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM>
>> Subject: Re: :-) mostly -- McWhorter on "standard English"
>> > Well=2C maybe we need to start putting "dialect" in after "Standard
>> > English". I think I might start putting "Standard American Written
>> > English dialect" in my composition syllabus to emphasize its
>> > linguistic parity with Appalachian dialects=2C Southern dialects=2C
>> > etc=
> .
>> >
>> > ---Amy West
>> I'd concur with this=2C Amy=2C but reword as "Standard American Written
>> E=
> nglish
>> Register."
>> The wording of the syllabus description would=2C of course=2C be
>> self-referential=2C being written in SAWER.
>> Robin Hamilton

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

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