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

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Sun Jan 17 02:02:43 UTC 2010

> Funny I've never heard anyone say "What register do you speak"?  They
> might=
> answer "I''m a registered Democrat.
> Tom Zurinskas

Well, I also find it difficult to imagine a linguist couching a question in
the words, "What register do you speak?"  It's rather like asking someone,
"Which tense do you speak?" as opposed to "Which tense are you speaking in?"

They might quite legitimately ask, "Which register are you speaking in now?"
if there were some doubt as to the exact status of a statement in a context
which allowed the employment of different registers.

As on this list, for instance.

Some statements on ADS-l could probably be transferred word-for-word into a
formal academic paper, some transferred with a little tweaking, some if they
were rewritten, and some would simply not fit into even the broadest of the
parameters of the register of Formal Academic Refereed and Edited Journal

That's the way it is on most academic lists I've encountered.

Above so many gates are inscribed the words, "Please adjust your register to
fit the linguistic arena you are entering."

Robin Hamilton

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

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