Good English vs beautiful anarchy and native accent

One of the most beautiful aspects of the English language is its pluricentric nature. The English of my country, in its most colloquial of forms and even its standard form, is different from the English of Australia, or India, or England, or Hong Kong, but arguing that one form is wrong in comparison to another would ultimately be fruitless. It’s for this reason that I think many are having difficulty with some sort of definition of “good English,” especially when framed against anarchy and accent - three concepts which seem to have little in common. None of us own English, and the video woman’s inability to communicate satisfactorily speaks to her weak thought development and not her language skills. Connecting thought and language, which I remember reading in the thread also (I assume through linguistic relativism or something of the like) is a lazy interpretation of the theory, in my opinion.

Now, as for the argument that adults are in a better position for language learning over children, I think there are arguments on both sides. Children certainly have it easier in some ways, as they have few other responsibilities aside from learning language. I think if an adult, however, could dedicate every waking hour solely to eating, potty training, and learning languages, he or she would make leaps and bounds over a child in the same situation. Once again, there is evidence with feral children and other abused persons who aren’t taught language until much later in life that proficient language is a near-impossible skill to develop if not introduced in childhood. As a result of such conflicting pieces of information and differing opinions within the linguistics field, I think this is a question with no easy answer, if it has an answer at all.

I think one important thing, to which we’re all a testament just by being on LingQ, is that a person should never use the excuse that it’s “too late” or “I’m too old” to not learn a language later in life.

As far as grammar-based approaches are concerned, they can be good for some. On the other hand, while you can’t say much without some grasp of grammar, you can’t say anything at all without vocabulary. It is with this thought in mind that I use LingQ.

As far as the more volatile parts of this thread, to put things in perspective, many in my country think of foreign languages as English spoken with a funny accent. The fact that we’re all above that thinking, merely by being here, should put us on friendlier terms than I’ve seen in much of this thread. Not even the Ph.D’s are in agreement about most of what’s being discussed here, so we shouldn’t expect any better from ourselves, but we can still be civil.

Whoops - Nothing like a good late-night ramble after a few glasses of wine on Thanksgiving.

-ZW

elpolaco, if you don’t want LingQ, then take a hike!

See, I knew this guy was a troll…

p.s. I hope you didn’t drink too much last night Dubyah :smiley:

Dubyah, I am visiting your country (in Palm Springs until next Tuesday). I had not realized how important a holiday Thanksgiving is in the US. ( Not the case in Canada).

I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this thread. I agree that a little wine (only a few glasses) loosens the tongue in any language. Last night my wife enjoyed the second half of a bottle of an excellent Kendall-Jackson vintner’s reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County (2009). Combined with a whole pre-roasted chicken ($3.75) and some string beans and olive oil, tomato and avocado salad, and mashed potatoes, followed by some Manchego cheese, it all made for a great thanksgiving dinner, far better and cheaper than could be had at any restaurant.

I might add that I visited Sonoma County in July to take part in the Snoopy’s Old Timers’ Hockey Tournament and tasted the local wines, which are fabulous. I now always buy Sonoma County wines in preference to wines from the Napa Valley.

good bye

good bye