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Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others?
     

Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others?

4.3 3
by Edwin Battistella
 

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ISBN-10: 019533745X

ISBN-13: 9780195337457

Pub. Date: 11/01/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

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:
9780195337457
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/01/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Bad Language: Realism versus Relativism
Anything Goes
A Culture of Engagement
Bad Writing
The Craft of Writing
Clear and Direct
The Relativity of Style
What is Good Writing?
Bad Grammar
Prescriptive Grammar
The Emergence of Prescriptivism
The Doctrines of Usage and Utility
The English Language Arts and Beyond
Conservatives and Progressives
The Necessity for Grammar
Bad Words
Cursing in the Media and the Arts
Offensive Language
Bad Words as a Social Construction
Slang as Bad Language
Political Correctness
Conventionalism and Comfort Levels
Bad Citizens
Birth of a Nation
Native American Languages
Manualism versus Oralism
Restrictions on Foreign Languages
Bilingual Education
English Only
One Flag, One Language
Bad Accents
Broken English
Attitudes Toward Regional Dialects
Ebonics
Accomodating to the Idealized Mainstream
Images and Engagement
Imagining Language
English Made Hard
Beyond Simplistic Characterizations
Notes
Reference
Index

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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