1 USAGE AND STIGMATIZATION by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen

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Transcript of 1 USAGE AND STIGMATIZATION by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen

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1 USAGE AND STIGMATIZATION by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen Slide 2 Perspective on Usage: 2 Slide 3 3 Slide 4 4 Its Academic, or Is It? If youre 35 years or older, you probably identify a common grammatical error in the heading on this page. Younger than that and, well, you likely have another opinion: Its all relativeexcept, of course, for the apostrophe. Unfortunately, age appears to be the demarcation here. (Larson [2009]: 139) Slide 5 5 Avoidance of Clichs boggles the mind. bores me to tears. foregone conclusion. going down a slippery slope. in broad daylight. in the foreseeable future. is on the bubble. It goes without saying. Its not for me to say. literally. opening a Pandoras box. playing God. pushing the envelope. who can say? Has thinking outside the box become such a clich that its now inside the box? (Pence [2009]:135-137) Slide 6 6 The Computer Generation: More WordsMore Grammatical Errors Patricia OConner says, rather than being obsessed by error, we should nurture our love of talking about words, about language. Thanks to the computer, Americans are communicating with one another at a rate undreamed of a generation agoand in writing. People who seldom wrote more than a memo or a shopping list are producing blizzards of words. (OConner [2009]: 143) Slide 7 7 The downside of all this techno-wizardry is that our grammar isnt quite up to the mark. Were writing more, and worse, than ever before. The ease and immediacy of electronic communication are forcing the computer- literate to think about their grammar for the first time in years, if ever. Its ironic that this back-to-basics message should come from cyberspace. (OConnor [2009]: 144) Slide 8 8 Slide 9 9 French vs. English Usage In his Growth and Structure of the English Language, Otto Jespersen said, The French language is like the stiff French garden of Louis XIV, while the English is like an English park, which is laid out seemingly without any definite plan, and in which you are allowed to walk everywhere according to your fancy without having to fear a stern keeper enforcing rigorous regulations. (MacNeil [2009]: 66) Slide 10 The Grammar Police 10 Slide 11 11 Bad Usages in Literature In Hamlet, the King says, Nor what he spake, though it lackd form a little, Was not like madness. In Othello, the Duke says, Yet opinionthrows a more safer voice on you. In Othello, Desdemona says, My life and education both do learn me how to respect you. (MacNeil [2009]: 67) In Julius Caesar, Caesar says to Brutus, That was the most unkindest cut of all. In Star Trek, the narrator says, To boldly go. Slide 12 12 It fascinates me (MacNeil) that axe, meaning ask, so common in black American English, is standard in Chaucer in all formsaxe, axen, axed: and axed him if Troilus were there. Ernest Hemingway believed that American literature did not really begin until Mark Twain, who outraged critics by reproducing the vernacular of characters like Huck Finn. (MacNeil [2009]: 67) Slide 13 13 It fascinates me how differently we all speak in different circumstances. We have levels of formality, as in our clothing. There are very formal occasions, often requiring written English: the job application or the letter to the editorthe dark-suit, serious-tie language, with everything pressed and the lint brushed off. There is our less formal out-in-the-world languagea more comfortable suit, but still respectable. Slide 14 14 There is language for close friends in the evenings, on weekendsblue-jeans-and-sweatshirt language, when its good to get the tie off. There is family language, even more relaxed, full of grammatical short cuts, family slang, echoes of old jokes that have become intimate shorthandthe language of pajamas and uncombed hair. Finally, there is the language with no clothes on; the talk of couplesmurmurs, sighs, gruntslanguage at its least self-conscious, open, vulnerable, and primitive. (MacNeil [2009]: 68) Slide 15 15 Indirect Language and Politeness Phenomena When you are at a dinner party and want the salt, you dont blurt out, Gemme the salt. Rather you use what linguists call a whimperative, as in Do you think you could pass the salt? Yes, our point is to request the salt, but youre doing it in such a way that first takes care to establish what linguists call felicity conditions, or the prerequisites to making a sensible request. (Pinker [2009]: 72) Slide 16 16 The underlying rationale is that the hearer not be given a command but simply be asked or advised about one of the necessary conditions for passing the salt. Your goal is to have your need satisfied without treating the listener as a flunky who can be bossed around at will. In an episode of Seinfeld, George is asked by his date if he would like to come up for coffee. He declines, explaining that caffeine keeps him up at night. Later he slaps his forehead: Coffee doesnt mean coffee! Coffee means sex! (Pinker [2009]: 73) Slide 17 The Semicolon 17 Slide 18 18 A Usage Test 1. Find all of the incorrect usages in the following sentences. 2. Using metalanguage (e.g. infinitive, past participle, etc.), explain each. 3. Rate each incorrect usage from 1-10 in terms of stigmatization. 4. See if you can find any usages with reverse stigmatizationusages where the correct form is more stigmatized than the incorrect form. Slide 19 19 1. He decided to never again loan money to a person who aint got no security. 2. I will always choose the piece of cake that has the least calories. 3. That was the exact person who I was thinking about. 4. If I was able to drive slower, perhaps I might could avoid getting speeding tickets. 5. She done all the work, but he dont appreciate it. Slide 20 20 6. These here books are different than them there books. 7. Dey about ready to study dey book. 8. Is this John book or yourn? 9. He drunk the most fastest of anybody there. 10. She been dancin all night. Slide 21 21 11. We was answering as good as anybody else. 12. He hurt hisself yesterday when he jump off the roof. 13. He was open a bottle of wine while him and me was called over the loudspeaker. 14. Dose two boy very tin. 15. I done been finished before anyone knew it was me. Slide 22 22 16. Wasnt it the magnificentest movie youall had ever seen? 17. She had learn to answer No irregardless of the question. 18.He thought the boid be purty. 19.He bought a SHOWance policy from the POlice academy. 20. Dey a lot of eviDENCE that everyone forgot dey homework. Slide 23 23 21.Can I go to the bafroom? 22.The reason he a rat fink is because he only done half of his homework. 23.My work finished, but I used to could finish it faster. 24.I going to school early because Im disinterested in staying home. 25.We divided the cake between all five of us, just like Paul do. 26. Walking briskly to school, the hospital suddenly came into view. Slide 24 24 CONTRADICTIONS TO EXPLAIN ============================== 1. Dont use no double negatives. 2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent. 3. Verbs has to agree with their subjects. 4. Dont write run-on sentences they are hard to read. 5. Dont use commas, that arent necessary. Slide 25 25 6. Try to not ever split infinitives. 7. A preposition is something which you should never end a sentence with. 8. Correct spelling is esential. 9. Proofread your essay to see if any words are left. Sign on an office door: DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT. Slide 26 26 Slide 27 27 Slide 28 Usage Web Site: Superlatives!!!! by Kali Lux: http://my.brainshark.com/Superlatives-5423298 The The Impotence of Proofreading (Taylor Mali): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_rwB5_3PQc Kinetic Typology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E- aoXLZGY&feature=player_embedded 28