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  •  I once had a manager who (7+ / 0-)

    asked my crew to "change our thoughtware" regarding an accepted practice in our workflow.
    He was a decent guy, so I felt comfortable after the meeting to ask him to never say that again.

    He tried. He really did. But he was one of those middle management guys who automatically glommed onto any new expression he heard. We pushed a lot of envelopes in my work group. We thought outside the box.

    And this was in a company that loved its acronyms.

    "Speaking to the ACMIS, we should update our thoughtware on the go-forward with CDMOG. We can push the envelope on our 6Sigma certification, but we have to bite the bullet if we want true 7Solution cast into our 412 Tetra level 3."

    I spent much of my first meeting there, being one of 4 new hires, asking them to please speak English so the new kids could play too.

    I hate newspeak. If you can't be understood by your intended audience, you aren't communicating. The receiver determines the message. The sender has to craft it in a way the receiver interprets it the way the sender meant it.
    Anything else is a waste of time.

    Remember Ebonics?
    Yeah. Like that.

    "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:18:36 PM PDT

    •  "Thoughtware" is extremely cringeworthy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      as pointless figures of speech go, but was it actually difficult to understand?  I mean, its intended meaning seems clear enough: "update our thoughtware" = "think in a new way" or "reframe our thinking in this specific new way."

      (And what does Ebonics have to do with anything?)

      •  It's not that it was difficult to understand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jodylanec, IamGumby

        so much as it was somewhat dehumanizing, comparing organic thought to computer programming. Definitely cringeworthy, whatever the reason.

        Ebonics was an earnest effort to legitimize poor speaking habits. Criticizing it is difficult as it can make one appear racist. One of my beloved coworkers of many years at the aforementioned company was an AA woman whose mother is a retired English teacher. She said her mom would smack her if she fell back into the colloquial. My friend absolutely detested the idea of "Ebonics", saying it would just be better to encourage children to speak the language as it was intended rather than to make poor speaking habits legitimate.
        I'll take her word for it. To me, it was about the same as taking a dialect of English and teaching it as a language unto itself. Fine for cultural studies, but education needs to have standards students should meet.

        Given time, parts of variations in language usage ultimately find acceptance and inclusion in general usage. Forcing the change is not part of that process. It is unnatural and tries to overrun natural evolution of the language.

        "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Gentle Giant on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 01:05:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ... yeah, I'm definitely going to disagree there. (0+ / 0-)

          The only thing that distinguishes the "poor speaking habits" of AAVE from the "good speaking habits" of standardized grammar is that at some point in history one was declared correct, and it was the one spoken by the wealthier classes.

          "Speak the language as it was intended to be," good god.  Do you genuinely not see the obvious contradiction between that concept and that of "natural evolution of the language"?

        •  Ebonics (3+ / 0-)

          I really appreciate your post! I suppose that Ebonics gets such a bad rap (ahem) from many people because they feel that it legitimizes "bad English." Although I'm a million years old, I did my graduate work fairly recently, and my tendencies are descriptive rather than prescriptive to begin with. So I don't really think in terms of "good" or "bad" English; I think in terms of "discourse communities" (which probably makes me a linguistic hippie).

          I don't tell my students that their way of speaking is bad English, and I like having them read Gullah folktales to help them see that a dialect (although strictly speaking, Gullah is a language) can be internally consistent, grammatical, and beautiful. I tend to focus on standard English as a requirement for operating in the  particular discourse community that, at least in America, wields the most power and influence. Most of us regularly speak at least two "dialects" of English: American English, and a regional dialect.  And since our languages are also the story of who we are, we love them, and are rightly proud of them.

          "Seeing Leela fly off the Hexadecapus and crash through the moon dome and survive inside a stuffed animal by breathing a balloon was a dose of reality." Farewell, Futurama--I will avenge you!

          by IamGumby on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:06:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ebonics was an earnest effort to legitimize (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon, Gentle Giant

          an attested dialect of English with a significant literature. It might have helped to include comparable White dialects at the same time.

          NOTICE

             PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

             BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR,
          Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

          EXPLANATORY

             IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary "Pike County" dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.

             I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding.

             THE AUTHOR.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:58:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'ed for any number of reasons . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jodylanec

      . . . including the correct use of the word "glommed" in a sentence.

      "Seeing Leela fly off the Hexadecapus and crash through the moon dome and survive inside a stuffed animal by breathing a balloon was a dose of reality." Farewell, Futurama--I will avenge you!

      by IamGumby on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 01:45:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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