Blog Archives

Trump fans aren’t spelling bee champions, but why do we care?

Grammarly is the worst. Seriously, it is. I don’t mean their silly little grammar and spelling checker thing. I’m sure that’s a perfectly adequate proofreading tool, doing its best to reinforce people’s deep-seated insecurities about writing every time they touch a keyboard.

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Posted in Language and education, Language and politics, Language and social class, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

What I imagine the future Museum of Classism’s exhibit on language elitists will say

Despite the naïve pretensions of utopic meritocracy held by many of the era’s commentators, we now know that the early twenty-first century was one marked by intense inequalities in its inhabitants’ well-being and life opportunities. Indeed, in many ways this era’s incredible

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Language and social class, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

A prescriptivism with moral and political ends: The linguistic shalts and shalt nots I can get behind

In the field of linguistics, we tend to make a distinction between two ways of thinking about language and grammar: prescriptivism and descriptivism.

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Hearing skin color: The connections between language and race

What is race? What does it mean to be White, Black, Asian, Latina/o, or any other identifiable race? Most of us probably think of it as something marked on our bodies. It’s the pigment of our skin, the shape of

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Posted in Human migration, Ideology and social change, Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Linguistic diversity in the classroom (part 1): African American English and academic writing

Summer is coming to an end. Many teachers in the US are preparing for a new school year (and some have already started). As I get ready myself to head back into the classroom, I’ve been thinking about the ideas

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Posted in Language and education, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Reflections on the public response to Rachel Jeantel’s language

Over the past few weeks, the George Zimmerman trial has been in the news. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I recommend checking out the extensive Wikipedia page on the case. To provide a brief summary, George Zimmerman is accused of

Posted in Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Language privilege: What it is and why it matters

Privilege. It’s a controversial word, one many of us don’t like to talk about. Some people associate it with guilt or with being accused of being racist, sexist, or homophobic. Many people have become tired of hearing all of the

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Posted in Human migration, Ideology and social change, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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