Analysis Of The Article ' Obama 's English ' Essay

Analysis Of The Article ' Obama 's English ' Essay

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In the articles, “Obama’s English” written by H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman and “Speaking in Tongues” written by Zadie Smith, the writers inform us of, the consequences of voice adaption and how it can result in scrutiny and a loss of identity. On the other hand, the articles asserts, the advantage of having a “double voice” and the way it allows one to connect and empathize with people from different geographic areas. Based on the premise of the writer’s argument, modifying language to conform to the expectation of society can have both positive and negative effects.


Standard English is the structure of language acknowledged for being intelligent and accepted as the national norm in English speaking countries. Alterations in pronunciation and spelling is stereotyped, frowned upon, and associated with being uneducated because it does not comply with the standard. This is evident in the essay “Speaking in tongues” the author conveys, Obama’s ability to be flexible with the dialect he uses to engage diverse crowds invoked a “great fear” in voters, insisting Obama had “double ways”. The fear comes from believing that the English voice which is dominant and of class should not be intertwined with any other dialect because of the stereotypes of those groups. In addition, the article states, “He say one thing but he means another”. In other words, Obama use of vernacular associated with black crowds made them feel that he could not possibly be for people like them( White and educated). American expectation of people is to communicate with Standard English that was established by the British and disparages anyone who uses other forms of language.


Having multiple voices allows the ability to relate to different cultures. Bir...


... middle of paper ...


... is surrendered to appease others. The way you speak reflects who are you are as a person and can often determine where you come from. Language asserts your identity. So, if Standard English isn’t your original vernacular trading it for familiar voice can be a loss of self.


Standard language is a crutch for survival. Any person from a community that uses its own dialect will have to adapt standard language to conform to society norms in order to succeed professionally or to be accepted socially as smart. Being able to communicate with many voices can make one relatable or be misunderstood as patronizing depending on the crowed. Please are identified by the language they used. There is no doubt that having a double voice have more positives effects that outweigh the negative. The key is to take advantage of having a flexible voice without sacrificing one’s identity.

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