Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ideas off the top of my head

Bias toward writing - it's official and educated and real
only official language is written down
standard language is written language
then how do you keep it up?
nothing about writing actually makes it standard
the mere idea of writing as a thing is what made us think it was standard
the appropriation of writing as a 'learned' technology by educational institutions
so now whatever the educational establishment says is good writing is good writing
and that has been exported along with english
english and education and 'western values' or whatever have been exported from the center to the periphery
the same emphasis about what grammar is acceptable, what good writing is, etc, are maintained
but when a project to appropriate english writing for local institutional purposes is undertaken
e.g. when writing in English becomes a vehicle for local ("un-english")ways of being, identity, etc
then there is a struggle between local norms -- "this is what is right for us" -- and center/international norms -- "we need to fit in with what is right for everybody"

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