Why Not Use Standard English All the Time?

Topics: English language, Oxford English Dictionary, Linguistics Pages: 3 (882 words) Published: July 8, 2013
WHY NOT USE STANDARD ENGLISH ALL THE TIME?
Standard English is an idealised variety that constitutes a set of norms associated with intellectualism, professionalism and prestige adopted by the educated speakers of English. As it is of a prescriptive nature, it constitutes what is deemed as the ‘correct’ use of grammar and vocabulary and often found in formal registers of language. Whilst it is most recognisable in written texts, Standard English also appears, though more variably, in spoken modes. However, regular use of Standard English threatens the expression of identity and culture that are conveyed through non-standard linguistic features. These non-standard features are inevitable in the modern globalised world where language is heavily influenced by aspects such as technology, displaying the tendency of language to change constantly and suggesting that a ‘standard’ form of English will not remain standard for long. Past experiences of oppression have allowed for society nowadays to value the freedom of speech and identity, which are heavily expressed through language. Dialects reflect cultural identity; sociolects reflect socioeconomic identity; idiolect reflects an individual. Groups mould English into one that is specific to themselves for a sense of belonging and exclusivity. Caucasian background English speakers, commonly referred to as “wogs”, are identifiable from other ethnic groups by modifying Standard English lexicons. In Standard English, plural markers are not added to the pronoun “you” to specify that something is directed to more than one person. However, wogs tend to add the plural marker “-s” in order to give “you” a distinct plural form, creating “yous” (“yous don’t understand me”, “yous are being too loud”). Cultural groups and their sociolects are not the only one to have an identifiable variety of English; every individual possesses an idiolect that defines them. Their idiolect could consist of non-standard features such as a...
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