In Pinker 's article "The Language Mavens" it is stated that writing is the primary way in which individuals can "differentiat[e] the elite from the rabble" (Pinker 374) and distinguish between social classes.. While language and communication may be influenced by social class and education, the way an individual speaks is often not an indication of their intelligence. Society 's view of 'proper ' writing severely limits the sample of voices heard as it only allows the thoughts and ideas of those with thorough training in language to be taken seriously. The bias towards 'improper ' writing must be changed in order to achieve a more egalitarian society where the power of sharing knowledge is not limited to the few who have the perceived prerequisites to have their ideas heard. The following topics will be discussed in this research essay: the limited access to university education and formal writing training, proper writing is a matter of perspective, accents and perceived intelligence, and accessible writing.
Historically, language was not only used as a marker for social class but was wielded as a tool to maintain social class and oppress certain voices from contributing to political matters (Borkowski 359). Borkowski notes that in the 19th century the empowered group in society insisted that the only acceptable language was "elite language" (Borkoski 359). The devaluing of the descriptive language used primarily by the lower class perpetrated a cycle where only the upper class would obtain formal education and have access to the academic and political spheres therefore assuring the continued language and political barrier between the classes (Borkoski 359). A q...
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Intelligence and the capability of reasoning and understanding is not solely identified by language capacity. Language and communication is influenced by education level and class. Due to the exclusivity of social class and education, many individuals are kept from engaging in important academic and political discussions due to lack of formal writing training. The severely limited scope of "proper writing" does more to exclude people than it does stimulate ideas and put forth theories that could change society. If the knowledge presented in academic writing wishes to be widely acknowledge, evaluated, challenged, and expanded upon than the bias towards formal writing must change. Language has the potential to be a unifying tool in society if only the constraints on writing is lifted and the association between language and class ceases to exist.
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