'The Story of English' -- The New Englishes

'The Story of English' -- The New Englishes
Source: reusableart.com

"The Story of English," the book published to accompany a 1980s Public Broadcasting System series in the U.S., spent a chapter looking at "the new Englishes."

In this chapter, it's not a case of showing how English has developed over time. In this case, it's geography. I've been studying the chapter gradually because of its variations of dialect -- or, as the authors call it sometimes, nation-language.

Jamaica, Bermuda, India and Canada are all English-speaking countries -- but for two quick examples, Jamaicans don't use "eh?" and Canadians don't say "mon."

Standard English connects English-speaking countries, the authors note, but those of us who have a different variety need to have the standard words and the national variations. We all need "going to," even if we also resort to "gonna" or "gwine," the authors point out.

I confess -- spellings like "gwine" have slowed down my work on this chapter. But I'm learning more about "national languages," the new Englishes of this chapter.

Being fascinated by words will do that.

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  • As the MacKenzie Brothers pointed out aboot then "Havs some back bacon, put on your toques, and take off hosers. "

  • In reply to jack:

    I do speak Canadian English, but I've managed to forget the MacKenzies. Sorry.

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