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I would like to get off this listserv. Could you please send directions on
how to do so? Thank you very much. I have been trying for a week and nothing
seems to be working. Thank you.

Katie [log in to unmask]





At 09:35 PM 12/10/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Gary Probst wrote:
>
>The following story is an example of what Pat  is telling us.
>
>
>
>> Pat Shultz wrote:
>>
>> >   I often wonder what will be the long term result of a national
>> >tolerance for, and encouragement of, extreme dialectical differences in the
>> >speaking and writing of American English.  Hypothetically at least, one
>> >possible outcome might be that people from one American state might
>> >eventually be unable to communicate with people from another.
>
>In a small Southern town there was a nativity scene that indicated great skill
>and talent in its creation. One small feature bothered me though. The three
wise
>men were wearing firemen's helmets.
>
>Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.
>At a "Quik Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter
>about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You darn
>Yankees never do read the Bible!"
>
>I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen
>in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled
>through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a particular
>passage.
>
>Sticking it in my face she said, "See, it says right here, 'The
>three wise men came from afar.'"
>
>
>
>
>
>> Or, the
>> >divided-city syndrome, reminiscent of the Ellis Island immigration era
>> >might be another result.  How will we communicate with one another?  Sign
>> >language?  Esperanto?  Quien sabe?
>>
>> Pat & Don and others,
>>
>> My point is not that Standard English shouldn't be taught. Of course it
>> should be taught! But it should be taught in the spirit of offering a tool
>> with which to succeed in an intolerant world, not in the spirit of calling a
>> person's regional accent "incorrect."
>>
>> Please stop perpetuating the myth of the degradation of American English.
>> There was no golden era of "correct" pronunciation and adherence to rules of
>> grammar and usage. Rules of grammar for English were only codified in the
>> late 1800's, and many mistakes of mis-applying Latin grammar to English were
>> made in the process. Many of these rules(rules against split infinitives and
>> using a preposition at the end of a sentence, for instance) are still with
>> us, in spite of having nothing to do with the Queen's English, then, now, or
>> ever.
>>
>> Right now in this country there is both a wider use of a "standard" dialect
>> and less dialectical variation than there has ever been. If anything,
>> American English is homogenizing faster than it is fracturing.
>>
>> Again, Teach Standard English, Teach Standard English! It's unfair to
>> students if you don't. But don't call a person's dialect "incorrect;" in
>> what sense could it be? Is it the word of God? (Thou shalt speak the
>> language of thy superiors.) No: it is only the in perceptions of intolerant
>> people. There are many of these people. There will always be many of these
>> people. Therefore, we need to help students learn the dialect of the path to
>> power.
>>
>> What could possibly be the pedagogical advantage of calling any student's
>> background incorrect, or a "lack of knowledge." People don't speak a dialect
>> out of a "lack of knowledge." They speak a dialect because of the presence
>> of knowlege: the knowledge of their own mother-tongue. That knowledge may
>> not be the knowledge of privilege, but it is knowledge nonetheless. If you
>> found yourself in the middle of Bombay, and someone said to you, "Aap to
>> kahaa jaane chahiye?" Would you decide that the language you know was
>> "incorrect?" No. You would probably hope you could find a patient English
>> speaker. Extend the same courtesy to people who don't speak your dialect.
>>
>> (Incidentally, India has 17 officially sanctioned languages, and hundreds
>> more dialects that vary much more extremely than those in America. India has
>> many problems, but you will find very few people in India who blame them on
>> language differences.)
>>
>> Steve Runge
>> Academic Skills Coordinator
>> St. Lawrence U.
>> Canton, NY 13617
>> [log in to unmask]
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>