Favourable stigmatised forms

JohnnyC   Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:34 am GMT
<<and all other English speakers worked hard to speak it flunetly>>

Jinx, you have an awesome name and I appreciate your erudite response. Thank you. All hope is not lost in this forum!
JohnnyC   Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:36 am GMT
<<I'd rather speak like an illiterate>>

I'm sure you'll acheive your goal.

<<and actually BE smart,>>

But no one would ever know.

<<recently met a top scientist who spoke with a strong southern accent and used a lot of southern constructions.>>

I'm sure you and your imaginary hillbilly scientist have a lot to talk about. Ain't that a hoot??!?
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:21 am GMT
You people that think there's some kind of prestige in speaking pigeon English are living in a dream world.

PIDGIN. Get it right, Thicko.
Caz   Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:30 am GMT
<<I'm sure you and your imaginary hillbilly scientist *have* a lot to talk about.>>

Is that an example of your good grammar?
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:46 am GMT
What's wrong with his grammar?
Caz   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:10 am GMT
<What's wrong with his grammar?>

Is this grammtical?

scientist *have*
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:14 am GMT
''I'm sure you'll achieve your goal. ''

Contractions are avoided in writing, they are so unrefined.
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:29 am GMT
<<But no one would ever know. >>

How can a number be capable of knowing when it is inanimate?
Johnny   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:55 am GMT
<<is this grammtical?

scientist *have* >>

I guess so. The subject was "you and your hillbilly scientist", which is plural.

For those who are saying "non-standard" forms should be avoided: why? Just because you're going to sound uneducated? The point is, why would everyone want to sound educated? In fact, there are people who WANT to sound uneducated. A gangsta in the ghetto don't wanna talk like white mofukaz and shit. And they really don't give a damn whether people like you find them uneducated. They REALLY do not give a damn. And there are a lot of other people who don't mean to sound uneducated, but people like you would label them as uneducated if you heard them talking, especially in informal situations. But you see, they really don't give a damn either. And I'm afraid people who don't give a damn are much more than those who care, so language is not gonna change the way some people want. It's going to evolve the way it's always evolved, as expected, after all.
Guest   Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:17 pm GMT
To top it off, to them your pedantic academic writing style is stigmatised. If you go to the hood and talk like an 'educated' person you'll be laughed at.
Jinx   Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:39 pm GMT
<<Jinx, you have an awesome name and I appreciate your erudite response. Thank you. All hope is not lost in this forum!>>

I rather like my name as well, and I could say the exact same thing for you!

I can see where people don't give a damn and people in the hood would make fun of you, but honestly I am not around any "don't give a damn" people, and I don't live in the hood. And if you think about who doesn't give a damn and the people who live in the hood do you really want to sound like them? For me it's more of a matter of making a good impression on people, sounding sophisticated and intelligent is what I aim for because that how I WANT to be perceived.

(P.s southern accents don't make you sound uneducated, I have lots of friends from the south who have accents but don't use "Ain't" and "y'all" you can have a southern accent and not use those kinds of words.)

And obviously people who are from the "hood" are trying to show that they're NOT like the educated and literate people. They are consciously giving a rather unflattering image and are treated and viewed as pathetic scum by people who think they have no class for speaking, dressing, and acting like they do. But they don't give a damn and like how their so who cares!

As to the people who are normal but don't care, they obviously have no one they really want impress or other friends who like holding intelligent conversation so good for them, they apparently like the way they speak so wouldn't participate in an argument what so ever because they don't care at all. (so everyone posting here must give a damn because they want to argue their point.)

All in all it's about who you are as a person, how you want to be perceived by others, and who you spend time with. In my family and community you're EXPECTED to speak properly, I was brought up that way and everyone views us as intelligent. The people who view us negatively are not the kind of people we want to impress any way. So if everyone is happy the way they are, why argue? Besides I expressed my opinion, and solely my opinion. You can go off saying "Ain't, y'all ect." if you want, but I'm just saying you should be conscious of who you're saying it around. Because believe it or not, most managers and authoritative figures judge your speech when interviewing you and subconsciously you take in speech and use it to build the way you think of a person. I just wanted people to know this and take it as advice or use it to better or change the way people see them, language is a powerful thing, use it wisely.
JohnnyC   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:20 pm GMT
<<Is this grammtical?

scientist *have*>>

Jesus christ you can't even read. It's not the scientist who *have*. It's "you AND your imaginary hillbilly scientist who *have* a lot to talk about." I count that as two people, even though one is imaginary.

I agree with Jinx above on two issues: First, who gives a rat's ass what people in the hood think about my standard English? Should I calibrate my speech to the expectations of people in the hood? I have a friend who's a schoolteacher who happens to be black and who happens to teach in the inner city. She doesn't like to hear her black students speak ebonics. She always says to them, "why do you want to sound like a slave?" She's right. Of course, people who advocate ebonics want black people to talk like slaves because they're more comfortable with that.

Second, Jinx makes a good point when she says Southern accents do not make a person sound uneducated. Bill Clinton has a southern accent and no one would accuse him of sounding uneducated. He's just one example, but one that we can all relate to.

<<PIDGIN. Get it right, Thicko.>>

My use of "pigeon" is intended to denigrate the word "pidgin". I use it to display my feeling that speaking pidgin is almost like an animal's communication. When you hear someone speaking pigeon English you get the impression that person is barely fucking sentient. Like a pigeon or a rooster. You see, sometimes people us a similar but derogatory word in the place of the official word. Like when someone refers to a Shoshone Indian as a "shoeshine indian". I don't personally have anything against the Shoshones, the Chumash or any other tribes, but it's an example. Anyway, I want you to start using it too. Now.
Travis   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:55 pm GMT
At least here in Milwaukee, though, such is not nearly as simple. For starters, there is a very strong social divide separate from pure social class here between which really splits society here into three primary blocs, specifically European Americans (and some other assorted groups), African Americans, and Latin Americans. This division is perpendicular to the distinction between standard language and dialect, with the nature of said distinction varying greatly between groups.

Within the African American population here, the divide that describe is rather strong, with AAVE being in strong opposition to General American, albeit with a range of variation between such, and is very strongly tied to social class and social circumstances. Middle and upper class blacks here generally speak General American with varying degrees (from noticable to practically nonexistant) of an AAVE substratum being present. On the other hand, lower class blacks generally speak pure AAVE (which can often be much stronger than any such things you may hear in media content) around other black people, and around other people generally speak AAVE with varying degrees of General American influence laid on top of it (but in a far weaker fashion than in people of higher social class). An important detail, though, is that regardless of social class, black people here very rarely adopt any of the actual features of the dialect spoken here by white people, so that even upper and upper middle class black people often sound noticably different from their white counterparts.

Within the European American population here, things are somewhat different. Amongst middle-aged and older people here, there seems to be a noticable class difference speech-wise here, where people of lower social class speak closer to the "white" dialect here and people of higher social clas speak closer to an Upper Midwestern variation upon General American with a dialectal substratum. The distinction is not nearly as strong as amongst black people here, but it is still definitely present.

Amongst younger European American people here, though, things are a different story, with such a linguistic class distinction having largely broken down. Hence one can today here middle class younger white people speaking more like working class than middle class people of their parents' generation, plus extra innovations which would have not been heard much amongst even middle-aged working class people, The only main caveat with respect to such is certain features which are largely deprecated within English today overall, such as the use of negation agreement, have not been adopted by younger middle class people. Even with that in mind, though, I have often heard younger people here speak in informal contexts in a very radically non-standard fashion, to the point that I would have significant trouble trying to write down what they were saying in the standard orthography without at least a bit of paraphrasing. Mind you, though, that has resulted in significant variation in the speech of middle class younger people here, with some normally speaking rather close to General American and others speaking quite far from such, and with a wide range of variation in between. Likewise, while they may normally speak amongst themselves in a very un-GA-like fashion, they are perfectly capable in speaking in a far more standard fashion, and do vary quite noticably depending on the exact social circumstances they are in. However, though, such seems to be more complex than the dialect being purely deprecated and the standard language being "correct", seemingly being more a matter of the expected degree of formality, the expected degree of social distance, and just where the people they are speaking with are from than anything else.
JohnnyC   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:58 pm GMT
<<PIDGIN. Get it right, Thicko.>>

I think we covered "pidgin" and the difference between pidgin and creole the first semester of my first college Linguistics class. But aside from that, I spent 6 months in Hawaii, on one of the smaller islands where it seemed like everyone spoke pigeon. I thought I was going to lose my mind listening to that shit. You'd see a beautiful woman and as soon as she'd open her mouth you'd stop seeing her as a beautiful woman, or as a sex object and instead you think of her as a "slow" person. You have to admit, even a woman who is really good looking with a hot body loses her sex appeal if you disclover that she's a retard. That's the bottom line. Some deviant varieties of English make the speaker sound retarded. I get it that some of you, like Caz and Morgan and MollyB advocate the retard or child-like sounding versions of English, but curiously, none of you who advocate the use of alternative versions of English post in those forms. That leads me to believe that your arguments are purely academic and that in reality you would not, for example go into a job interview speaking like a child who has not learned to conjugate English verbs. would you honestly approach a potential employer and say, "me talk purty, you hire me you be way happy" And then you'd grunt like Carl from Slingblade?
Travis   Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:03 pm GMT
>>Likewise, while they may normally speak amongst themselves in a very un-GA-like fashion, they are perfectly capable in speaking in a far more standard fashion, and do vary quite noticably depending on the exact social circumstances they are in. However, though, such seems to be more complex than the dialect being purely deprecated and the standard language being "correct", seemingly being more a matter of the expected degree of formality, the expected degree of social distance, and just where the people they are speaking with are from than anything else.<<

Probably the best analogy I can think of is that for most younger middle class people here, the distinction between the dialect here and the local variety of GA, and the continuum between the two, is similar to that between Alemannic dialects and Standard Swiss German in German areas of Switzerland - most are quite capable of speaking both, with neither really being regarded as "better" than the other, and just what they happen to speak is determined largely by what is expected in the particular social circumstances more than anything else.