Monday, July 23, 2007

formal vs. everyday language

Do you dare wear a sequined gown while shopping at Walmart or wear your hottest shorts with matching hanging top at a Luciano Pavarotti concert?

Like clothes, language too differs according to function or use. You wear your very best at formal functions and switch to casual or conversational style when in less formal situations. Donning your tuxedo while in a ballgame is inappropriate and you don't expect people to be at their very best all the time. The best of language---flawless in style, grammar, and diction---could not always be expected of everyone all the time.

Language purists may do better if they adjust to trends of the time. As kids now need a lot of coaxing to make them read, requiring them to read highly scholastic materials may instead discourage rather than make them appreciate reading.

What I am saying is, kids prefer to be addressed to in their own easy language if we have to get their attention. Nothing of the buttoned up typed of language will entice them to take reading seriously. They want the more updated, upbeat, rappy kinda lingo which never happens in formal language.

What should be the stance of English language teachers? Resistant? Pliant? or Blending?

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