Read e-book online Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? PDF

By Edwin Battistella

ISBN-10: 0195172485

ISBN-13: 9780195172485

ISBN-10: 1423734122

ISBN-13: 9781423734123

Is cutting-edge language at an rock bottom? Are pronunciations like cawfee and chawklit undesirable English? Is slang like my bad or hook up incorrect? Is it improper to combine English and Spanish, as in Yo quiero Taco Bell? are you able to write Who do you belief? instead of Whom do you belief? Linguist Edwin Battistella takes a difficult examine conventional notions of undesirable language, arguing that they're usually dependent in sterile conventionality.

Examining grammar and magnificence, cursing, slang, and political correctness, nearby and ethnic dialects, and international accents and language blending, Battistella discusses the robust emotions evoked by way of language version, from objections to the pronunciation NU-cu-lar to court cases approximately bilingual schooling. He explains the ordinary hope for uniformity in writing and talking and lines the organization of mainstream norms to rules approximately refinement, intelligence, schooling, personality, nationwide cohesion and political values. Battistella argues that none of those features is inherently hooked up to language.

It is tempting yet improper, Battistella argues, to think about slang, dialects and nonstandard grammar as easily breaking the foundations of fine English. as an alternative, we must always view language as made of substitute kinds of orderliness followed by means of audio system looking on their function. hence we will research the constitution and context of nonstandard language to be able to remove darkness from and increase conventional types of language, and make coverage judgements in accordance with an educated engagement.

Re-examining longstanding and heated debates, Bad Language will entice a large spectrum of readers engaged and drawn to the controversy over what constitutes right language.

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But what happens when we apply this definition to the following: In circulation, the News often ran dead last. But by 1970 it had worked its way into the black, and it achieved a goal that eluded many of its rivals: it survived. Is the sequence beginning with But by 1970 and ending with it survived a single complete thought? It seems to be, since its parts are grammatically connected by the conjunction and and by the colon following rivals. However, the sequence consists of three smaller parts, each of which also seems complete: by 1970 it had worked its way into the black, it achieved a goal that eluded many of its rivals, and it survived.

Following Murray, such American grammarians as Goold Brown and Samuel Kirkham set the pattern and tone of education with mass-produced grammars that also adopted a correctionist stance and treated the grammatical prescriptions of Lowth and others as already a matter of established tradition. 7 Prescriptive grammar had become the pedagogical norm. Bad Grammar | 47 The Doctrines of Usage and Utility Prescriptive grammar has two main features. One is the conviction that traditional grammatical rules are based on logic, reason, and truth independent of usage.

But the lack of consistency among sources suggests that prescriptive grammar is neither authoritative nor uniform. As a final example of the looseness of prescriptive grammar, consider the definition of the sentence. Traditionally, we are taught that a sentence consists of a subject and predicate and expresses a complete thought. But what happens when we apply this definition to the following: In circulation, the News often ran dead last. But by 1970 it had worked its way into the black, and it achieved a goal that eluded many of its rivals: it survived.

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Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? by Edwin Battistella


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