‘Word jails’, ‘slang bans’ and the punitive policing of language in schools

Blog post written by Ian Cushing based on a new article published in Language in Society

The late, great linguist and educationalist Ronald Carter wrote that teachers can be forced into acting as a kind of ‘kind of linguistic dentist, polishing here and there, straightening out, removing decay, filling gaps and occasionally undertaking a necessary extraction’. In a new article published in Language in Society, I use Carter’s metaphor as a springboard to critically examine a spate of many current language education policies and pedagogies in schools which are driven by deficit discourses about linguistic variation and change. The focus of the paper is on primary and secondary schools in England who have implemented strict, prescriptive and punitive language policies which attempt . . . → Read More: ‘Word jails’, ‘slang bans’ and the punitive policing of language in schools

Words on the loose: The power of “premium”

Blog post written by Crispin Thurlow based on a new article published in Language in Society

 

In a new paper for Language in Society, I open with the following anecdote about the disingenuous power of everyday language games. On a work trip to Stockholm several years ago, I needed to take my two sons along with me. My local colleagues had kindly accommodated us in one of Sweden’s “Elite” hotels. On arrival day, my sons and I checked in and made our way up to the room. As we stepped across the threshold my oldest son declared, with genuine disappointment, “But this isn’t elite!” After I pressed him, he explained that the room was just not big enough. Evidently, he had already learned . . . → Read More: Words on the loose: The power of “premium”

Call for Editor Proposals – Language in Society

Professor Jenny Cheshire is completing her tenure in December 2019 as Editor of Language in Society (LiS). Cambridge University Press is now inviting applications for the position of Editor. A team of two Co-Editors will also be considered. Final appointment decisions will be made by the Syndicate of Cambridge University Press.

The deadline for applications is February 1, 2018.

Language in Society is an international journal of sociolinguistics concerned with language and discourse as aspects of social life. The journal publishes empirical articles of general theoretical, comparative or methodological interest to students and scholars in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and related fields. LiS aims to strengthen international scholarship and interdisciplinary conversation and cooperation among researchers interested in language and society by publishing work of high quality which speaks to a . . . → Read More: Call for Editor Proposals – Language in Society

Hipsters in the hood: Authentication in young men’s hip hop talk

A limited number of studies have approached the topic of hip-hop authenticity with an analytic focus on discourses/ideologies rather than linguistic style and even fewer studies have investigated what we might call ‘third sphere’ of hip hop, that is, interaction among Hip Hop fans and activists. This study study aims to demonstrate the value of moving the study of authenticity in relation to hip hop from a consideration of (the indexicality of) linguistic style towards a focus on discourse and ideological meanings. . . . → Read More: Hipsters in the hood: Authentication in young men’s hip hop talk