English isn’t broken you imbecile.

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*I realise we’ve done this article in class and only realised after I did it. Sorry

Name: The world's doomed in anyone's language as English is broken
Date: 2/7/13
Author: Alice Clarke

Key Ideas:

  • English is broken
  • Words being added to the dictionary are random and un-needed.
  • Language evolves from people creating it, not from people making it up
Language Features: Prescriptivism, language change across time
Course Aspects: Unit 4 - AoS 1: the role of Standard and non-Standard English in Australian society

Personal Opinion: I think this woman is an idiot, words are constantly changing as much as technology is too and if she thinks that because people post things on the internet with random blugging words then she doesn’t fully understand how language works. Because words become words for a reason. All words have meaning, and there’s no point in arguing that point. Prescriptivists like this annoy me to no end.

  • “For centuries it was influenced by the best scholars, who found new and inventive ways to advance it and make it more accessible and useful for everyone. Today, it’s more influenced by the idiots who comment on YouTube.”
  • “Language evolves not so much through careful cultivation but more though people getting it wrong and making it up.”
  • “The Oxford English Dictionary Online changed “literally” by adding a less literal, meaning: “informally used for emphasis while not being literally true: I have received literally thousands of letters”.”

This is disgusting

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Name: Australian parents pressured to drop home language for English
Date: 24/7/13
Author: Stella Tzobanakis

Key Ideas:

  • Migrant parents under pressure to dump their own language believing it will help their children learn English
  • Knowing more than one language actually helps the child, unlike what the parents think
  • Lot’s of people in Australia are concentrated on English and think another language will stop the learning of English
Language Features: Language change over time
Course Aspects: Unit 4 - AoS 1: Language variation in Australian society - 

Personal Opinion: I’m pretty appalled by this actually, to think that migrant parents are feeling pressured to learn English and not speak their own at all, for fear of their children having impaired learning, but I’m glad that Prof. Hajek is telling people that it can actually improve childrens learning by knowing their native language as well as English. Hopefully less parents think this way, because it’s wrong to lose your heritage.

  • “a parents’ own lack of English language skills did not disadvantage the child learning English.”
  • “migrant parents were taught to undervalue their own languages, and to ignore their own histories in “a mistaken belief” that it was the only way for their children to learn English successfully.”
  • “There are many benefits to speaking more than one language – personal and intellectual development, improved social and cultural understanding and awareness, future career paths, cultural and family maintenance”
  • “In countries such as Australia many of us are fixated on English and think that another language stops the learning of English,”

I hope this doesn’t reoccur… (get it)

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Name: 8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today
Date: 11/3/14
Author: David Shariatmadari

Key Ideas:

  • Rebracketing, metathesis, syncope, epenthesis, velarisation, affrication, folk etymology and spelling pronunciation are the 8 different pronunciation errors.
  • Mispronunciation is common among all people.
  • There are many debates on whether or not certain words are pronounced different ways, and this changes the English language because people agree on different things
Language Features: Phonology, phonetics (pronunciation), etymology, jargon, spelling
Course Aspects: Unit 3 - AoS 2: Formal Language - Phonological patterning, (morphological patterning?)

Personal Opinion: I mispronounce words all the time, and don’t really care if someone mispronounces a word or my name, but I always strive to say the word correctly for fear of being ridiculed for not knowing how to say the word. I think that people shouldn’t ridicule you and just correct you to help you learn.

  • “English spelling can be a pain. That is mainly because our language underwent some seismic sound changes after the written forms “
  • “The point is malapropisms and mispronunciations are fairly common.”
  • “Error is the engine of change, and today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s vigorously defended norm.” (good one)
  • English spelling can be a pain, but it’s also a repository of information about the history of pronunciation.

I can see them, but I’m still going to call them ‘they’

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Name: Grammar pendantry across the generations
Date: 28/4/14
Author: Allie Severin
Key Ideas:
  • People of all ages are all correcting each other.
  • A study was done to see what they would correct in someones speech or writing.
  • One twelfth of younger participants of the study thought it was ‘unacceptable’ that ‘they’ was used to describe someone instead of using ‘him’ or ‘her’
Language Features: Prescriptivism, Descriptivism, syntax, spelling, punctuation, neologisms
Course Aspects: Unit 4 - AoS 1: Language Variation in Australian Society -  attitudes within society to different varieties of English, including pre and de scriptivism
Personal Opinion: In my opinion, I think that the word ‘they’ can be used to describe people, whether or not you can see what gender or race they are, as it isn’t offensive to the person in the slightest,  and it shouldn’t be something that people complain about.
  • It was a younger participant, however, who stated that ‘you’re’ spelt ‘your’ resulted in an “instant loss of respect”.
  • Basically, young people care about different things in comparison with older generations when it comes to language.
  • While ‘correct’ language use was seen as valuable, avoiding marginalising people was more important.
  • “the gender of the person should be clear from the evidence before our eyes”.

Sophie’s Choice

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Name: Would you push a stranger off a bridge? How your morals depend on language
Date: 30/4/14
Author: Elisa Criado
Key Ideas:
  • The way you read and understand words is affected by whether you’re a native English speaker or someone with a different native language.
  • Emotions have a large role in mediating the effect between language and moral decision making
  • The more you are familiar with a foreign language, the more likely you are to agree with that foreign speakers decision-making
Language Features: Discourse, cohesion, inference, logical ordering, information flow, semantics 
Course Aspects: Unit 3 - AoS 2: Formal Language - the use of formal language in clarifying, manipulating or obfuscating?  reinforcing social distance
Personal Opinion: I agree with this article in that I think if you were to learn a new language and continue learning it for the rest of your life, you will look at words and phrases differently than if just read through English. This study is interesting in that it shows the morals of people using different languages than people in different countries.
  • “Native English speakers were almost twice as likely to push “el hombre grande” than “the large man””
  • “This discovery has important consequences for our globalised world, as many individuals make moral judgments in both native and foreign languages,”
  • “The connection between language and emotion makes sense”
  • “Increased familiarity with a language brings an emotional grounding which can match that of a mother tongue.”

‘Oi, you said Language wrong!’ ‘What? Leenguige?’

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Name: Should you ever correct someone's mispronunciation?
Date: 2/5/14
Author: Seth Stevenson
Key Ideas:
  • People always correct other peoples mispronunciation
  • Vocabulary only improves as you get older
  • Excessive corrections when someone says something wrong is counterproductive
  • When no-one corrects you it feels like they’re judging you, when some-one corrects you you get embarrassed
Language Features: Lexicon, Spoken Discourse, Vocabulary, Phonology
Course Aspects: Unit 3 - AoS 2: Formal Language - Stylistic features in formal speech and writing, AoS 1: Informal Language - Stylistic features in informal speech and writing
Personal Opinion: I agree with Seth, and think that you should correct someone if they mispronounce something, but it’s not a good idea if they aren’t your friend.
  • “you can count on reliable growth in the size of your vocabulary well into your 70s”
  • “we should not let ourselves be cowed in a work meeting, a classroom setting, or a casual têteàtête with a pal. “
  • “Words on the edge of your ken, whose definitions or pronunciations turn out to be just out of grasp as you reach for them. The words you basically know but, hmmm, on second thought, maybe haven’t yet mastered?”
  • “I was corrected in the very best way possible: quickly and reflexively by the corrector, without judgement, like an executioner with a sharp, dispassionate blade”