Generations of school teachers have railed bitterly against the bad grammar and slovenly pronunciation of their pupils. Parents have for decades bemoaned the swearing and sloppy diction of their children. Public figures become enraged about jargon ...
and linguistic corruption in the nation's press. Employers deplore the inarticulacy and limited vocabularies of their staff. And everyone knows that spelling and punctuation are not what they were. What is all this complaining about? Why do otherwise sane people become so apoplectic about other people's language? What are the roots of this linuistic prejudice? The authors of this book take a dispassionate look at negative attitudes to language use and try to account for the various types of hostility. They argue that most types of "bad" language have their place, and should be seen as valuable parts of the nation's linguistic repertoire. Linguistic discrimination, they suggest, should be no more acceptable in an enlightened and tolerant society than discrimination on grounds of race or sex. The work is aimed at undergraduates and specialists in English language and linguistics and the general reader.