The Importance Of Culture And Language

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How are culture and language linked? Some might say that language is one thing in people’s lives that is always constant, but that is not true. Culture changes over time, for example, people in the 50s didn’t use many of the slang words we do today and they didn’t have words for most of the technology we have today either. It’s important to understand that this does not mean that the words we use today aren’t valid, because they do mean something to us. Often linguists try to define standard English but the people who speak English are so diverse that it is almost impossible. People should recognize all words that are used within a culture because it not only broadens our perspective of the English language but words can also act as a fingerprint, showing the unique history of language. In the article Do You Speak American? by Cran & MacNeil (2005), the authors bring to light two arguments of standard English, those of a prescriptivist and descriptivist. Jessie Sheidlower is an editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and his viewpoint is that of a descriptivist, any words that do exist should be recognized. It doesn’t matter if the word is slang or of an inappropriate nature, there should be some sort of record of it. According to Cran & McNeil (2005); “He is the author of a…show more content…
Prescriptivist’s want to English to be used like it was many decades ago, but people’s lives change through the years and so does their language. In the 1950s words like ‘cell phone’, ‘internet’ and ‘hashtag’ weren’t used but that’s because culture and technology has progressed. I think that the descriptivist view of language is also the most inclusive. They recognize the languages of other races and ethnicities that blend with English, whereas prescriptivists more or less only use English by the ‘white American’

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