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September 9, 2012
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@Warsaw Will: err....hmmmm..... I AM British! Ref "... it's those of use who 'speak proper' who stand out as the oddities. If everyone around you is speaking in dialect, then it's that dialect which is the main 'communication system'. " I only said it's lazy not to try. I live and work with and around a host of different dialects and of course can understand most of the time. And it does add colour to communication! But to abandon language to dialect without attempts to keep a standard (such as this website!) would quickly result in the Tower of Babel situation. An I daint wanna see tha'rappen. And I have noticed this: I may have to ask someone with a stong dialect and accent to repeat what they say or explain further if I don't understand - but using correct English back to them, they rarely have to ask me!
It seems to be a combination of all of the above. To use correct English and want to see others use correct English is NOT elitist. Any communication system needs to have both transmitter and receiver agree a set of protocols and rules so that the message intended gets across 100%. While any language is a 'living' dynamic system, there has to be strong pressure for conformity otherwise the whole system will break down. Any language has a history; this included quirks, exceptions and oddities. Tough! We just have to learn them, to accept the same protocols - anything else is laziness. If the question is ASKED ("Should ther be an 's' on the end of 'mine'?"), the protocol says 'NO!" If on knowing that, the asker continues to use the 's', that is clearly laziness or peer pressure. Like many other aspects of Western society, there has been a great dumbing down, and it's 'cool' (I wish we could stop using THAT word!!!) to seem street-wise, un-educated, anti-elitist etc. I for one would love to see that trend reversed, especially in music, but I don't think it will happen.
So far as using 'ax' instead of 'ask' is concerned, I have a feeling that physical differences in those of African descent make it more difficult to say the ... sk dipthong, hence ask is 'ax' task is 'tax' , mask is 'max' etc. There is also a difficulty with 'l' and 'r' - I often have to ask my African friends to repeat when they use words with these letters, to make sure I'm getting the message! Physical differences can be more difficult to over come, but it is possible (I know some Africans with very clear diction), and to not try is laziness. Wherever we are from, whatever our background, let's all do our bit to keep up standards - it's part of the route to world understanding. But of course, if you don't speak English - IT'S TIME YOU LEARNED!!!
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