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From:Brian Martin <bmartin -at- NMO -dot- GTEGSC -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 20 Dec 1996 13:18:07 -0800
If one is allowed to step back from the American scene for a moment and look at
other societies, then perhaps some perspective can be had.
I am fortunate to have lived in another country for several years. I noted on
many occasions the distinct dialects of that country in various regions and
cities. Several points come to mind:
People of a city or region often took pride in their native sounds because it
was their herritage.
The upper classes of a given city often looked down on persons of lesser
education, particularily in regard to the ability to speak the proper national
People of different regions were frequently prejudiced against persons of other
regions because those other people couldn't speak the national dialect.
It was not until this century, with mass transportation, mass communication and
mass migration that a common national dialect was even possible for the masses.
LAZINESS has nothing to do with language. Need, ability, and desire have
everything to do with it. Pride enters into it. I see nothing wrong with New
Yorkers talking in that twangy way. Why should I impose if African Americans
like to speak they way they do?
Let people speak the way they wish, let them take pride in it if they will.
Let's also teach them the tools they need to survive and thrive.
One last point,
What do you call a person who speaks three languages?
What do you call a person who speaks two languages?
What do you call a person who speaks just one?
With appologies to the few of you out there who speak more than one.