Miles Coverdale (manos74) wrote,
Miles Coverdale

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Some thoughts on slang, etc.

So, L. sent me this article.

My immediate reaction, based on the paper that one kid turned in, was "*tWiTcH* mommy, make it stop". But then I read a little more, and my reaction changed to "well, as long as the kids can tell the difference between class-discourse and friend-discourse, it's okay by me." Since, you know, as long as I don't have to read papers written in this new IM-slang.

And then I thought a little more about it.

Why, then, should I be averse to papers written in IM-slang? After all, it's a valid form of discourse for the kids; why, then, should I not treat it as a discourse deserving of intellectual attention and/or acceptance? In short, who do I think I am to not accept the way kids talk for my papers? After all, this is just the way that the English Establishment/Grammar Nazis (aka, me) keep people disenfranchised and powerless, yeah?

Because... well, fuck, I don't have "good reasons" to oppose this. But here are mine.

First off, IM-slang is aesthetically offensive to me. Pure and simple. If you can't be bothered to type the word "you," maybe you don't deserve to have access to communications technology.

Secondly, the discourse I insist on is the discourse of academia and professionalism. Should it be "accepted" for someone to say in a business report "OMG, u guyz r gonna make sooooooo much $$$ this qrtr LOL!!!!!"? I think, perhaps, not.

Environment controls discourse, yes? Well then. The environment of my class is that of intellectualism. You don't like it? Drop the course and take it from another instructor.

Again, you think this is somehow unfair to my students?

Let me tell you something. There is a difference between "I can't speak 'properly' because my school district was too poor to hire decent English teachers" and "I don't want to speak 'properly' because I'm too lazy to."

Now: This is not to say that the Grammar Nazi should be welcomed everywhere. If you insist on "perfect" grammar everywhere, you will end up alienating everyone and getting everyone around you to wonder "why the hell should I pay attention to good grammar anyway?" There ought to be a balance between 31337-5p33k and Wm. F. Buckley.

Where that balance lies, however, I have no clue.
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