Saturday, June 11, 2011

End of Crowley's "Standard English and the Politics of Language"

This is the final paragraph of Crowley (2003), after a lengthy chapter describing the debates about Standard English and teaching in the UK in the early 1980s. What I find interesting is how his proposed redefinition of standard spoken English is so similar to the idea of "Lingua Franca English" in which grammar and adherences to particular standards are downplayed in favor of emergent intelligibility (I might have made that term up). It's also notable that he elides the importance of defining standard written English; indeed, many scholars who argue for the non-stigmatization of traditionally marginalized English usage tend to hew more closely to the importance of traditional standard Written English than one might expect. I'm not accusing Crowley of this -- just noting that he doesn't posit a redefinition of a written standard in this passage.

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