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zompist bboard • View topic - Prescriptivism strikes back

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Today I went shopping with my mom and, during a talk, used a non-standard form of past tense (for those interested: "żem poszedł" instead of "poszedłem"). Everything went ok until evening, when she told me not to speak in such a "disgusting" manner, because "I sound like a peasant boy and teach my brother speaking that way, and he shouldn't speak like that as later he can write this on some exam and it will be disastrous for him". Then, when I tried to defend non-standard speech, she told me how many times I "shouted" at her when she said something incorrectly - all of these occasions were just jokes, which she told offended her after a couple months. Next we had a loud argument about some other, weakly related stuff, but it's not important. Now I'm wondering and asking you: how on earth can I defend colloquial language to a woman brought up in a prescriptive environment of my grandfather while still regarding the fact my brother's only abilities "for competitions" (don't have a better term) are swimming and "proper" grammar and pronunciation, so he could do really much worse in school without the second one?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:02 am 
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The thing is though when it comes to standard varieties nowadays you're pretty hard-pressed to find people who don't have at least some grasp on it, simply because of the amount of media and/or teaching done in standard varieties in most if not all developed countries. So people who insist on only using "correct grammar" around their children in this day and age shouldn't really be worried at all, because their children will probably 1. know the standard already and 2. be perfectly capable of using the standard in the appropriate contexts. However, this was not so true so long ago, so if parents wanted their children to accrue any kind of social standing from the standard/prestige language they would have had to have made efforts themselves, so any such attitudes today may well be relics of those times.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:46 am 
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The problem is people really tried hard to speak properly during the communist period in Poland and many adults raised in this time have a weird feeling of what is appropriate and good. Do people in other, especially Anglophone countries care less about that as there existed and still exists regional diversification? I think there was such a great amount of dialect levelling here (I remember reading somewhere Polish is probably the most homogeneous official language of a bigger state) adults just feel that any other speech sounds disgusting.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:43 am 
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But the point is that young people are capable of using that variation in the contexts it is suitable for, like they would probably never use those sorts of colloquial forms in say a job interview, so there's no need for people to insist on them using the standard all the time.

As for what happens in other places, well I can't speak for America (though I expect it doesn't play so much of a role) but in the UK there is still a good deal of stigma surrounding regional dialects other than SSE (Standard Southern English, which has effectively replaced RP as the de facto standard of the country).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:00 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:06 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:50 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:28 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Portuguese is pretty heterogeneous.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:34 pm 
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