It’s a lotta variation in dis language

How do we deal with all the variations in English? Or do we just go by the book?


Was I the only one this week watching Charles Ramsey describing his rescue of the three kidnapped American girls and thinking not only ‘what a hero’ but also ‘what a great illustration of linguistic variation’?

Oh.  OK.  Just me?

Well, anyway.

Try as I might to rein it in, my brain–its contents a constant scramble of several years’ linguistics education and teaching experience, not to mention a lifelong propensity for asking millions of questions–has a disobliging habit of sometimes missing the point in favour of curiously probing all the minutiae that made up the point!

If you get me.

And of course, I’ve also got that annoying teacher habit of not being able to switch off from ‘language detection mode’, even when I’m watching the news or something.

So aside from my general appreciation as a member of the public of the furore around this particular news item, it got…

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