Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [sociolinguistic]

The tag has no usage guidance.

1
vote
0answers
40 views

How can I describe a conjunction that ends a sentence (so, and, or, but …)?

Recently I (American English speaker / academic / raised in Appalachian and Southern dialect household) noticed myself falling into a conversational pattern with coworkers where I would end a spoken ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Neglecting women in every field

Why do we say 'chairman' for men and 'chairperson' for women? Why don't we use 'chairperson' for both? It's a neutral word a single word can used for both. Also, why do we use 'man-made' ...
1
vote
1answer
417 views

Difference between Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics [closed]

I have been doing some intense research on sociolinguistics and pragmatics and am becoming more and more confused as to what the distinction between them is. If someone could describe both concepts ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “his husband” grammatically valid? [duplicate]

I was surprised to see "his husband" in the Cambridge dictionary’s entry for compliment: He complained that his husband never paid him any compliments anymore. Isn't that a grammatical ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Again regarding the pronunciation of “multi-”: adequateness to certain strata of society

The question how to (correctly?) pronounce the suffix multi- in English has been discussed here several times, most helpful, I find, in "Multi-" prefix pronunciation My question relates to ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

What is the origin of the idea that the word “able” must refer to a living being?

A 2014 Daily Mail article by Simon Heffer, "The Pedant’s Revolt", contains an interesting assortment of peeves about language (mostly about the meanings of words). I was familar with some of them, but ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Is the use of “much” at the end of phases part of Valley Speak? [duplicate]

I've been watching Totally Spies, a show about three girls from Beverly Hills who are involved in international espionage. I've noticed they use a lot of "muches" at the end of phrases as an ...
3
votes
2answers
784 views

Why is it “to have sex” instead of “to sex?”

In English, there is no generally acceptable verb for someone to say the equivalent of "to sex." All our equivalents are either too vulgar ("to fuck", "to bang", "to smash") or too formal ("to ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What do you call the way a culture is forming their language? [closed]

suppose a culture is still starting to be develop and they are forming their "language" for communication? what do you call this process? Regards,
1
vote
1answer
218 views

-phobia (or similar) word for “fear of the poor”

Peniaphobia seems to refer at least as much to the fear or hatred of being or becoming poor oneself, as it refers to fear or hatred of people who are already poor. What would be a good word, or ...
10
votes
2answers
844 views

History of the phrase “strange fruit”

Appearances in the early 19th century, and before, tie some figurative uses of the phrase 'strange fruit' to religion and politics, and then later to US racism, particularly southern racism. For ...
1
vote
3answers
530 views

What is the opposite of reappropriation?

Reappropriation is the cultural process by which a group reclaims terms or artifacts that were previously used in a way disparaging of that group. The phrase social justice warrior appears to have ...
1
vote
0answers
76 views

Well-educated podcast guests pronouncing “and” as “ant” [closed]

Why is it that well-educated podcast guests often times pronounce "and" as "ant"? For example, from Deep State Radio podcast, episode "A Nuke in Every Pot" guest Alice Hunt Friend says at around 2:54 ...
6
votes
2answers
711 views

WHY do so many people struggle with ‘who’ and ‘whom’?

When to use ‘who’ and when to use ‘whom’ seems to be one of the most common areas of confusion for English learners, and even possibly for native speakers. Personally, I don't find it confusing at all ...
5
votes
3answers
211 views

When did prodigies stop being evil?

I am used to thinking that it is a good thing for someone to be a prodigy. Mozart, for example. But yet, this glossary of ancient Roman religion indicates that the ancient Romans felt that ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Is there a word that describes the information gap due to a reader's cultural bias across place and time?

While reading texts from a different culture or a different time period I sometimes find deeper meanings elusive. I feel that this is partially related to living in a different culture and/or a ...
7
votes
3answers
891 views

Is Waltzing Matilda comprehensible outside of Australia? In Australia?

I'm American, but it seems to me that when I’ve encountered Australian speech or writing, I didn’t have much trouble understanding it. The words are mostly familiar to me. So what’s going on in the ...
1
vote
2answers
993 views

“We have nothing to lose but our aitches”

George Orwell ends his essay The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) with (emphasis mine): And then perhaps this misery of class-prejudice will fade away, and we of the sinking middle class … may sink ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Are Yiddishisms strongly associated with a certain group or are they general to American English?

There are quite a few words of Yiddish origin in English, for example some more common ones (at least to me): chutzpah dreck shlep shmooze shmuck shtick spiel tuckus However, is there a significant ...
1
vote
6answers
2k views

What is the appropriate word to describe society's toughest problem?

I am looking for an adjective to use in the following context: I was pondering on ways of addressing society's most ______ issues.
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Who first objected to the term “chain mail”?

Recently, I've become aware of a new (to me) peeve: some people say that chain mail/chain-mail/chainmail is incorrect in some way when talking about armor, and that the proper way to refer to it is ...
1
vote
2answers
242 views

What term describes “the degree to which peers can loan each other money”?

I want to make a distinction between two groups of people: Group A has the liquidity and borrowing power. Group B has minimal liquidity and borrowing power. The term "credit rating" implies it's ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Are the 'Imperatives' used without 'please' or 'kindly' considered to be rude in the west?

Are imperatives considered rude if they are used without "please" and "kindly"? For example: Go ahead OR Please, go ahead. and Give me the eggs OR Please, give me the eggs
1
vote
4answers
4k views

Difference between “Talk to me” and “Tell me”

Is there any difference between the usage of those two expressions in a conversation? Thanks in advance.
-1
votes
2answers
483 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in newspapers and watch on TV many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to class, pointed it at his friends and teachers, and ...
12
votes
11answers
41k views

What do you mean when you ask “How are you?”

I have been asked one simple question many times by Americans: "How are you?". I know this does not mean that the person I am talking to wants to know how I feel, but sometimes I see that they repeat ...
5
votes
4answers
22k views

Why don't you say “good work” in English?

I am an Italian student and I am writing a thesis comparing our two languages. I am aware of the fact that you don't say "good job" or "good work", in order to wish someone the best in his/her job. I'...
1
vote
2answers
399 views

Why do more sentences start with 'data' as a plural, than when it is within the sentence?

I recently put together some Google n-grams for a short piece on the transition of the word data into a singular (mass) noun: Data are Beautiful: Data's story in grammar. There was one peculiar ...
5
votes
4answers
860 views

Is any utterance in English used only by men or only by women?

In my native language, there are some interjections used only by women. For example Va (pronounced /vʌ/), is an exclamation used to express surprise only by women. If any man happens to use them, he ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How bad is the use of “n***er” today?

If I call a Black person "nigger", how bad is this today? If a Black calls another Black with this word, is it wrong?
3
votes
1answer
660 views

Name for native English inferiority to French/Latin/Greek

My question is whether there is a name for the phenomenon, and also if there is a body of literature including popular exposition about it, of which the paragraphs below exhibit examples. "Nativity" ...
13
votes
1answer
791 views

U-English of the 1950s: what was used instead of “ON holiday”?

I am reading U and non-U by Alan S.C. Ross, written in 1956. He wrote that the preposition on was non-U in the following sentence: She's on holiday This made me wonder what the correct U ...
1
vote
4answers
4k views

What does “down with homework” mean?

I was watching The Simpson series. In season 7, episode 12, Bart exposes a t-shirt on which the phrase "DOWN WITH HOMEWORK" is written. Then the entire students in the classroom start a riot all of a ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

Difference between “social” and “societal”

What's the difference between social and societal? Are they perfectly synonymous? If not, what is the difference in nuance? The relevant definition of social reads: relating to society or its ...
6
votes
4answers
322 views

Does the word “gentleman” retain the distinction “of leisurely lifestyle” anywhere in British English?

I've been watching a great deal many British period films lately, and having done so has made me grow acutely aware to the nuance of the word gentleman. Once upon a time, a gentleman wasn't just some ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Does America have its Versions of U- and Non-U English?

In Britain and most of Europe, some form of U-speak exists: old-money language has certain features that distinguish it from other language. In Dutch, it doesn't really have a name, but it is still ...
10
votes
4answers
11k views

Meaning of “ ‘Western’ world” and alternative terms

The discussion on the meaning and connotations of the world 'Oriental' got me thinking along similar lines on the usage of 'Western' world or 'the West' to denote North America and Europe. I find it ...
12
votes
6answers
15k views

Why did the descriptive “Orientals” shift into a pejorative?

It seems as if a shift occurred and the descriptive "Oriental" was replaced by "Asian" as the accepted term in polite society — what caused this shift?
27
votes
4answers
10k views

Do accents still play a role in British class distinctions to the present day? How have things changed since the 1960s and Received Pronunciation?

An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him. The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him. If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do, Why, ...