Monday, March 28, 2005

English Language History

I'm reading Do You Speak American? for my Modern American English class and must laugh at the politics of language education. The need for people to be pretentious about the superiority of one language or one dialect over another has been going on forever. Or as one of the writer's put it since the Tower of Babel.

So from this need to feel superior we have bans on nonEnglish education in classes
English only in various states
bans on Black English or Ebonics
Bans on speaking Spanish in the work place--even though laws do not alway agree with this stance. With so many important issues in education to work on people spin their wheels on making certain that English remain the language of the land. The people proposing these laws do not know the history of English nor do they know the facts about language use, growth, change, and history. I suppose I could spend a long time working on these issues without running out of things to do. I'm hoping that I can tie in these discussions with my self and the project of memories, language education, and rhetoric.
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