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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    While I recognise variations of English as acceptable, when something becomes incomprehensible to the wider speech community, it is not going to help its speakers greatly.
    Don't misunderstand me! I'd never heard the term Ebonics until Will mentioned it. I personally have no opinion on the subject, and I've never encountered it in real life. However, if linguistics is a science then Ebonics like any other language deserves some study.

    I can't ever imagine teaching it.
    Iain

  2. #22
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Some argue that it should have equal status. From a linguistic perspective, this makes sense, but from an educational perspective I am less sure.

  3. #23
    Will Guest

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    I agree that ebonics should be studied because it is important as a variant of English (mildly important, but important nonetheless). Though I don't think that it should be taught in a classroom setting at any level of education. Most of it is vulgar and lewd, and therefore not something that I feel should be taught.

  4. #24
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Users should also be encouraged to acquire other ways of using English so that they can be integrated into the wider community professionally. Any excessively restricted form of speech and writing will restrict a person's access to opportunity.

  5. #25
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    While I recognise variations of English as acceptable, when something becomes incomprehensible to the wider speech community, it is not going to help its speakers greatly.
    That is the whole point of some languages--to be incomprehensible to nonspeakers. Of course, as you noted, if a person knows only that insular language that person is at a disadvantage in the wider speech community.

  6. #26
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    If being incomprehensible is all you have, then you're in trouble. If you have it as something you can use when you want, then that is very different and, IMO, rather desirable.

  7. #27
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    Smile Re: What are the arguments ????

    prescriptive approach to a language tries to enforce a standard language and sees other dialects,forms of language as incorrect.
    But descriptive approach,sees language as it is. it does't judge the language as good or bad.

  8. #28
    pljames Guest

    Default Re: What are the arguments ????

    prescriptive approach to a language tries to enforce a standard language and sees other dialects,forms of language as incorrect.
    But descriptive approach,sees language as it is. it does't judge the language as good or bad


    Can you describe the difference between prescriptive language and descriptive. I am favoring descriptive.
    Paul/pljames

  9. #29
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What are the arguments ????

    As an example, let's look at 'if I was you'. A prescriptive grammarian would say it is wrong because we should use he subjunctive there and it should be 'if I were you'.
    A descriptive grammarian would say that many, if not the majority, of native speakers say 'if I was', so it is acceptable and correct. Also, given that many say 'if I were you', the descriptive grammarian would accept that both forms can be used.
    If you took it a bit further, you'd see tht 'were' is more common than 'was' in formal language, so the descriptive grammarian might suggest that, while both are fine in most usage, the subjunctive might be preferable in formal usage.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: What are the arguments ????

    TDOL's reply is vacuous. Prescriptive rules can only be justified by appeal to descriptive accuracy. Rules do not come from any god. Nor do English speakers have to listen to 'experts' in an official Academy

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