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Old 08-18-2012, 04:31 PM
 
6,611 posts, read 6,926,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tezcatlipoca View Post
There's a problem with the idea of poor grammar anyway. We have textbook English grammar which is deemed to be right, but if English had been "standardized" to Southern American English we'd be looking at a different idea of right and wrong.

Not to mention "proper English" is slowly becoming outdated and will have to change to fit with the newer standard. For example using "they" instead of "he or she" is the most common way to speak now, but "proper grammar" forbids it, and Licorice is officially pronounced "liqouriss" according to many sources but almost everyone says "lickerish".

The idea of a correct form of English where all others are wrong is ridiculous - though I admit my speech changes a lot when i'm in an academic/business situation, or even talking to someone out of state - my accent basically disappears.
I don't quite understand what an accent has to do with proper grammar (rather than proper English)...of course there is regional and local slang, but correct grammar is the same in any accent.

 
Old 08-18-2012, 05:16 PM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 776,667 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
I don't quite understand what an accent has to do with proper grammar (rather than proper English)...of course there is regional and local slang, but correct grammar is the same in any accent.
No, it's not. Grammar changes from accent to accent, dialect to dialect.

Let's take a look at Southern American English again:
These are all correct grammar examples for many speakers of that group of dialects.
"You gonna leave today".
"I like to had a heart attack".
"I already done told you that".
"I'm gonna catch me a big fish".
"It's one lady that lives in town".
Chances are, all that sounds horribly wrong to you. But it's not incorrect, it's not ignorant. It's different. You'll certainly sound more educated if you use "proper grammar" since that's what our society has defined as right, but the truth is that language is only bound by the rules the users often don't even realize they are using, not the rules a committee decided is "correct".

"grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words"

And those rules can change within a language between different accents and dialects.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,046 posts, read 54,552,165 times
Reputation: 66393
It's true that there is no one "right" way to speak any language, except that usually established by the dialect of whomever is in power. But in reality world, someone may be at a disadvantage if they don't polish their speech in certain situations, mostly those involving employment.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: alexandria, VA
9,476 posts, read 4,339,658 times
Reputation: 5274
And don't never use no double negatives. (Triple negatives are alright.)
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:19 PM
 
6,611 posts, read 6,926,424 times
Reputation: 4077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tezcatlipoca View Post
No, it's not. Grammar changes from accent to accent, dialect to dialect.

Let's take a look at Southern American English again:
These are all correct grammar examples for many speakers of that group of dialects.
"You gonna leave today".
"I like to had a heart attack".
"I already done told you that".
"I'm gonna catch me a big fish".
"It's one lady that lives in town".
Chances are, all that sounds horribly wrong to you. But it's not incorrect, it's not ignorant. It's different. You'll certainly sound more educated if you use "proper grammar" since that's what our society has defined as right, but the truth is that language is only bound by the rules the users often don't even realize they are using, not the rules a committee decided is "correct".

"grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words"

And those rules can change within a language between different accents and dialects.
I'm sorry, but most of that mess is NOT proper grammar. It's not southern, it's country - plain and simple. I contend that grammar does not change due to accents or regions...the rules stay the same. As a teacher I'm going to have to disagree with your entire post, and it's rather offensive that you think that we think it's correct in the South. We aren't as ignorant as you apparently think.

Does 2+2 still equal 4 in the South, or can it be "different"? Do the rules change between dialects?

Last edited by JoeTarheel; 08-18-2012 at 06:33 PM..
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:21 PM
 
6,611 posts, read 6,926,424 times
Reputation: 4077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
It's true that there is no one "right" way to speak any language, except that usually established by the dialect of whomever is in power. But in reality world, someone may be at a disadvantage if they don't polish their speech in certain situations, mostly those involving employment.
But there are rules of the English language that actually do make certain things right or wrong...just because something is commonly used doesn't make it correct, and it's shocking to me (as a teacher) that some people think there is no "right" way to speak English - when there clearly IS a right way.

Last edited by JoeTarheel; 08-18-2012 at 06:34 PM..
 
Old 08-18-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,046 posts, read 54,552,165 times
Reputation: 66393
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
But there are rules of the English language that actually do make certain things right or wrong...just because something is commonly used doesn't make it correct, and it's shocking to me (as a teacher) that some people think there is no "right" way to speak English - when there clearly IS a right way.
Not linguistically there isn't! Or so claims John McWhorter, and I enjoy his writing. Socially and by tradition, yes, there is, no doubt about it, and the rules of grammar exist for a reason. As a can't-quit-the-day job writer, I am appalled at what has happened to this country's ability to use grammar and punctuation correctly. As a matter of fact, we have entire threads bitching and moaning about this in the Writing forum. I'm easier on poor speakers than I am on poor writers.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: One of the 13 original colonies.
10,162 posts, read 6,490,816 times
Reputation: 8022
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
I'm sorry, but most of that mess is NOT proper grammar. It's not southern, it's country - plain and simple. I contend that grammar does not change due to accents or regions...the rules stay the same. As a teacher I'm going to have to disagree with your entire post, and it's rather offensive that you think that we think it's correct in the South. We aren't as ignorant as you apparently think.

Does 2+2 still equal 4 in the South, or can it be "different"? Do the rules change between dialects?


Exactly.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 08:00 PM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 776,667 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
I'm sorry, but most of that mess is NOT proper grammar. It's not southern, it's country - plain and simple. I contend that grammar does not change due to accents or regions...the rules stay the same.
Since you're a teacher, I can understand your position, and in an academic sense your right. But linguistically the rules do change from dialect to dialect, accent to accent. I'm not claiming the whole south speaks like that, and from a linguistic standpoint I see no problem with talking like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
As a teacher I'm going to have to disagree with your entire post, and it's rather offensive that you think that we think it's correct in the South. We aren't as ignorant as you apparently think.
I didn't say it's correct in the South, I said it was correct to many in the South. I mean no offence - I consider myself a southerner, and I have a southern accent but don't speak like that. In an academic situation I would find that very wrong. Linguistically, that kind of speech is not ignorant at all. As a teacher, you seem to be looking at this from an academic standpoint - as an anthropologist I find it hard to look at language any way other than scientifically. I see variation and evolution, not a right way and wrong way.

Last edited by Tezcatlipoca; 08-18-2012 at 08:22 PM..
 
Old 08-18-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 776,667 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Not linguistically there isn't! Or so claims John McWhorter, and I enjoy his writing. Socially and by tradition, yes, there is, no doubt about it, and the rules of grammar exist for a reason. As a can't-quit-the-day job writer, I am appalled at what has happened to this country's ability to use grammar and punctuation correctly. As a matter of fact, we have entire threads bitching and moaning about this in the Writing forum. I'm easier on poor speakers than I am on poor writers.
I'll admit, texting language for example horrifies me. It's just a total mess that I can't comprehend.
On the other hand, I find it interesting because it's a like a whole new way of communicating.
But if I were to read a book in texting language or even the way I talk around friends, I would probably be so annoyed I couldn't get through.
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