English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Vorpal » 24 Mar 2016, 9:36pm

I find the changes in language interesting. Yes, many new phrases in British come from American, but many also come from rhyming slang, and other sources. One of the most common sources of new slang comes from young people who express rebellion, or push the boundaries of what is acceptable through their language. I expect that happens more rapidly int he US

English changes more rapidly than other languages because it is a global language. Not only are phrases introduced from other countries, but sometimes they are a reintroduction of a phrase that has fallen out of use in British.
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 24 Mar 2016, 10:03pm

I'm not convinced that English changes more rapidly than other languages. Yes, British English absorbs phrases from other Englishes, but at the same time many other languages are absorbing phrases from English, so the rate of change is likely to depend on internal social and linguistic factors rather than simply the amount of exposure to other languages.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby al_yrpal » 25 Mar 2016, 9:04am

horizon wrote:
No they don't, they copy them from their principal cultural reference which is American. It's not the American that's wrong, it's the slavish acceptance of another culture that's "wrong" and the assumption that other people share their values. With those few words comes a whole set of social values and economic arrangements that are themselves highly contentious: use of the language that accompanies them signals your acceptance of those conditions. I think that America sees the world wrongly and that its actions have proved disastrous for humanity in recent years - the fact that the UK kowtows to them is appalling. Even simple phrases such as "the downing" of a plane indicates a cultural reference point and tells us that the speaker or writer is already swallowed up in a world view that is utterly unable to distinguish intelligent response from simplistic knee-jerk reaction - roll on the drones.

I'm not against America or Americans - I'm against British people who blindly accept a raft of cultural and economic values (everything indeed from McDonalds to drones) and then expect the rest of us to nod in agreement when they use the language that comes with those values. This is indeed how language develops - it reflects what's going on in the world, sadly.


Forsooth syre, this castigation of our language by 360 million Americans doth irk me greatly!

Thanks for that Horizon you gave the Mrs and I a nice spell of mirth… .like, innit!

Al
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby horizon » 25 Mar 2016, 10:52pm

al_yrpal wrote:
Forsooth syre, this castigation of our language by 360 million Americans doth irk me greatly!

Thanks for that Horizon you gave the Mrs and I a nice spell of mirth… .like, innit!

Al


al_yrpal: I think you misunderstood my point but I'm not sure. How does what you have written relate to my post?
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby al_yrpal » 25 Mar 2016, 11:36pm

I dont think you understand mine! English constantly changes. There is no such thing as standard English. It varies by region, by era, by culture and by country. There is no pedentary standard. The Oxford English dictionary is just that, it isnt any sort of standard to be adhered to by anyone. Its just a reference book. You did give us a good laugh though, thanks for that.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby colin54 » 26 Mar 2016, 12:12am

Interesting film about ' Appalachian English '.An example of how language changes at different rates, it is always changing though, like it or not.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03iwAY4KlIU

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English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby donald.stewart.nj » 26 Mar 2016, 3:47am

There's quite a bit of negative & anti American comments on this thread!

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby donald.stewart.nj » 26 Mar 2016, 3:49am

"Whatsamatterforyou?!"

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby al_yrpal » 26 Mar 2016, 10:34am

Pedants of English should just listen to what is being said and not be fixated on how its being said. The spread of English around the world is something to be glad about not something to be abhored. It promotes communication and understanding between peoples of differing cultures. IMO pedants of English are often miffed because they have failed to get their version accepted over the vibrant ever changing versions of English constantly evolving everywhere. Like… .

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby horizon » 26 Mar 2016, 11:54am

al_yrpal wrote:I dont think you understand mine! English constantly changes. There is no such thing as standard English. It varies by region, by era, by culture and by country. There is no pedentary standard. The Oxford English dictionary is just that, it isnt any sort of standard to be adhered to by anyone. Its just a reference book. You did give us a good laugh though, thanks for that.

Al


Well, at least I know you did misunderstand my point! :)

So, here we go again:

British English currently uses certain words.
These words are different in US English
These US words get transferred to the UK through popular cultural channels (films, TV etc) and commerce
They then became habitually used in UK English.
Yes, language borrows, changes and develops.

I don't think we disagree so far at all. My point is that when we borrow indiscriminately from another language it is in the context of a set of economic and cultural relationships. What I object to is other people assuming that I'm happy to take on their values when I'm not - it's presumptive on their part.

So, to emphasise – it’s got nothing to do with correct English - it's all to do with context and that context isn't random or value-free.

PS I'm alterating my original post to take out the anti-American bits.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: English Language - what

Postby horizon » 26 Mar 2016, 11:59am

donald.stewart.nj wrote:There's quite a bit of negative & anti American comments on this thread!


It was mine and i apologise. I was trying to emphasise that language comes with political values which you might object to. Coincidentally, on Radio 4 this morning there was an piece about how the US has openly handled its torture allegations and how the UK has failed to do so. I might be using a few more American words from now on.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby al_yrpal » 26 Mar 2016, 12:07pm

" What I object to is other people assuming that I'm happy to take on their values when I'm not - it's presumptive on their part."


How do you know what they presume, who are these people? Why do you think people are assuming you take on American values just because you use an American expression? A lot of people assume Americans are similar to us because they sound somewhat like us. They are most definately not. As a race they have totally different values and outlook.

And what is 'correct' English?

Are you, or were you a teecher?

Al :)
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby horizon » 26 Mar 2016, 12:29pm

How do you know what they presume, who are these people?


Because they use different forms of the language presumptively - they presume it's OK to do so. Whether you believe that to be reasonable is a personal point of view.

Why do you think people are assuming you take on American values just because you use an American expression?


Because language isn't value free - words have connotation.

A lot of people assume Americans are similar to us because they sound somewhat like us. They are most definately not. As a race they have totally different values and outlook.


Exactly. If we dleiberately or unconciously use an American word or expression we are reflecting those different values.

And what is 'correct' English?


It's the English used by people of my class, background and political views at this time. Mind you, that English follows rules and I think that's useful for precision of meaning. But I'm pretty sure that everyone knows that there's no such thing - context is everything, hence the arguments over swearing on this forum.

And no I wasn't a teacher (US) and never have been (UK). :D
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby al_yrpal » 26 Mar 2016, 12:42pm

I'm sorry, I speak and understand plain English but I cant understand any of that?

Are you an alien? :lol:

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Mar 2016, 10:04pm

Words and structures certainly reflect values, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously, but objecting to words and phrases simply because of their geographical origin is a form of linguistic nationalism.