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Pat,

Thanks for a fun and informative message.  I think a standard, formal
dialect is necessary in order to be efficient and to provide the means for
cross-"cultural" communication.  Words _are_  powerful and for the sake of
clarity in critical moments, we need to have agreed upon purveyors of
meaning: language.  But I also think we can see the value in and take
pleasure in the diversity of dialects.  I was delighted to find out, years
ago, that in Black English "Mama workin'; Mama she workin'; and Mama she be
workin'" all have different meanings in a grammatical configuration that
Standard English lacks.

Be ye cool this yule!

Laura

Laura Symons
Academic Resource Center
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, Virginia 24595
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http://www.arc.sbc.edu
804-381-6378