[ASC-list] Blooming English, Kate Burridge talk--MELB

leohman1 at bigpond.net.au leohman1 at bigpond.net.au
Mon Mar 14 23:20:48 UTC 2011

posted on behalf of thrAustralasian Medical Writers Association 

Blooming English — from manuscript to Internet

Kate Burridge, Chair of Linguistics at Monash University

You may have seen Kate on ABC’s Can We Help? or heard her on ABC radio answering all manner of niggling questions about the English language, and now you can see her live at the Clare Café Bar Bistro in Carlton.

 When:  Tuesday 29 March
              6.30 pm

 Where:  The Clare Cafe Bar Bistro 
              (formerly known as The Clare Castle Hotel)
  	     421 Rathdowne St, Carlton 
Cost:      Free for AMWA members, $10 for non-members
               Drinks and meals at pub prices

RSVP for numbers to L.E. Ohman leohman1 at bigpond.net.au
 or Jacinta Miller membership at medicalwriters.org

Language can never be fixed. All aspects of the system — sounds, words and grammar — are constantly on the move and the clues to where they are heading lie in the variation we find in everyday speech. Writing is changing too. It doesn't have the same hold on our minds as it once did, and that is speeding up the rate of change.

Clues to how language is changing often lurk in the linguistic features that many regard as wrong, bad or sloppy — linguistic pinpricks such as funner, youse, between you and I, mischievious, gotten, alternate (“other”), penultimate (“greatest"), yeah-no, to verse (“to compete against”) and so on. Many of them will drop by the wayside, it’s true, and some will remain variation. But there will also be a number that catch on and eventually make their way into the repertoire of Standard English in the future. To draw on a garden metaphor — today’s weeds may well become tomorrow’s cherished garden varieties.

L.E. Ohman, PhD
Freelance medical writer
 0408 318 907 

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