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ERIC Number: ED121061
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Variability and the Public Image of Language.
Shuy, Roger W.
Knowledge about how language works is often considered superfluous by the public. In general, the public image of language is that language is in a serious decline and that outside influences on language have led it astray, views that are supported by false assumptions about language on the part of writers. Writers in newspapers and magazines note that language is declining, that accuracy of construction and expression have disappeared, and that television, Watergate and the rise of minorities have contributed to the downfall. The public does not seem to understand language structure and variability or bilingualism. There is a general belief that study of Latin is important to understanding English. Many writers desire an unchanging language style and standard, denying creativity and dialect variations. Bilingual education is criticized as detracting from a homogeneous society and catering to minorities and non-learners. Linguists may take advantage of the public discussion by: (1) presenting language variability as a resource rather than as a compensatory remedy; (2) dispel the myth that linguistics stands for a lawless body of materials and point out that linguists actually are proposing a more rigorous set of principles than ever before have been suggested; (3) expressing joy in language variation, and (4) examining both the good and the supposedly bad outside influences on language (CHK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A