Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Language Discourses revision June 2013

For those of you revising for the ENGA3 exam next Monday, there have been some really good recent examples of articles that focus on attitudes to language use and abuse. A few of these have featured on the @EngLangBlog twitter feed, so thanks to the various teachers and students who alerted me to them.

Last year's ENGA3 paper featured a Section B question all about the Queen's English Society and their prescriptivist views about language. Some really on-the-ball students - readers of this blog, no doubt ;-) - managed to mention the demise of the QES as reported here in their answers to the June exam: exactly the kind of contemporary reference that always impresses examiners.

The recent articles that you might like to have a look at all take a look at how people feel about the ways in which language changes.

In this one, Steven Poole looks at how the internet has both spawned linguistic development and, for some at least, linguistic abominations such as LOL and bad spelling.

In this one, Simon Horobin, an English Professor at Oxford University, stirs up the readers of The Daily Telegraph into splenetic projectile-vomiting by telling an audience at the Hay-on-Wye Festival to chillax and STFU about apostrophes and spelling errors.

In this one, Michael Rundell of MacMillan Dictionaries has a dig at those who tell us we should strictly adhere to grammar "rules" just because they say so.

All of them provide plenty of food for thought and ammunition for the exam.