Authority in Language: Investigating Standard English (Third by Lesley Milroy

By Lesley Milroy

This booklet has a very good song checklist; of its variety its the simplest out there. - Deborah Cameron, college of Strathclyde This influential and popular ebook has been greatly revised and incorporates a new bankruptcy on linguistic discrimination at the foundation of sophistication, race and ethnicity. different subject matters lined contain: * nationwide Curriculum and arguments approximately linguistic correctness * * new kinds of English (including African American English) * attitudes to languageThese revisions determine Authority in Language continues to be topical and up to date.

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Unlike most of the complaint writers, Orwell then goes on to make positive proposals for improvement. When in ‘Politics and the English Language’ (1946), Orwell says that ‘the English language is in a bad way’, it is not therefore ordinary English speech that 36 STANDARD ENGLISH AND THE COMPLAINT TRADITION he is criticising. As the rest of the essay makes quite clear, he is disturbed by the dead metaphors (of politicians and other public figures) that are ‘tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse’: his own excellent writing actually shows that the language as a whole is more than serviceable, and not in ‘a bad way’.

Yous-dialect users might be rather offended by a person who leaves a conversational group with the comment I’ll see you tomorrow, each of them believing that he has addressed a certain member of the group and deliberately snubbed the others. There is also a (probably apocryphal) story about a Yorkshire car-driver who was run over by a train because he interpreted the word while to mean ‘until’ (as it does in Yorkshire) at a level crossing where the sign said ‘Wait while the red light flashes’. Such disastrous consequences are no doubt rare; yet miscomprehensions that arise from cross-dialectal differences can certainly lead to bafflement and even resentment.

4 we pass on to a discussion of the nature of language standardisation (the consequences of which reflect strongly on the public and popular attitudes that we have discussed). In Chapter 2 we proceed to outline the history of standardisation of English and discuss some of the processes through which the notion of a standard language is maintained. 4 Language standardisation For a number of reasons it is difficult to point to a fixed and invariant kind of English that can properly be called the standard language, unless we consider only the written form to be relevant.

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