Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others?

Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others?

4.3 3
by Edwin L. Battistella
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0195172485

ISBN-13: 9780195172485

Pub. Date: 08/25/2005

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Is today's language at an all-time low? Are pronunciations like cawfee and chawklit bad English? Is slang like my bad or hook up improper? Is it incorrect to mix English and Spanish, as in Yo quiero Taco Bell? Can you write Who do you trust? rather than Whom do you trust? Linguist Edwin Battistella takes a hard look at traditional notions of bad language, arguing

Overview

Is today's language at an all-time low? Are pronunciations like cawfee and chawklit bad English? Is slang like my bad or hook up improper? Is it incorrect to mix English and Spanish, as in Yo quiero Taco Bell? Can you write Who do you trust? rather than Whom do you trust? Linguist Edwin Battistella takes a hard look at traditional notions of bad language, arguing that they are often based in sterile conventionality.

Examining grammar and style, cursing, slang, and political correctness, regional and ethnic dialects, and foreign accents and language mixing, Battistella discusses the strong feelings evoked by language variation, from objections to the pronunciation NU-cu-lar to complaints about bilingual education. He explains the natural desire for uniformity in writing and speaking and traces the association of mainstream norms to ideas about refinement, intelligence, education, character, national unity and political values. Battistella argues that none of these qualities is inherently connected to language.

It is tempting but wrong, Battistella argues, to think of slang, dialects and nonstandard grammar as simply breaking the rules of good English. Instead, we should view language as made up of alternative forms of orderliness adopted by speakers depending on their purpose. Thus we can study the structure and context of nonstandard language in order to illuminate and enrich traditional forms of language, and make policy decisions based on an informed engagement.

Re-examining longstanding and heated debates, Bad Language will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers engaged and interested in the debate over what constitutes proper language.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195172485
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/25/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1. Bad Language: Realism vs. Relativism
2. Bad Writing
3. Bad Grammar
4. Bad Words
5. Bad Citizens
6. Bad Accents
7. Images and Engagement

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others? 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To do with a lady or just its self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago