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ENG 1 SUPPLEMENTARY HANDOUT: VARIETIES OF ENGLISH (2)

MONREAL, S.M.
Supplementary Handout on Varieties of English
WHEN WE TALK ENGLISH: JARGONS
Apart from our understanding that the English language has different
linguistic and syntactic variations depending on where it is spoken and
who speaks it, English vocabulary and diction (choice of words) also vary
in the context of usage, i.e., as relevant to its purpose and intention. As
we very well know, English is an ever-evolving languageunlike Latin or
Japanese or even Greek which constitute not so much a fair share of
derivations or loan words. In English, even a noun can sometimes become
a verb and a noun an adjective (take Google for example) depending on
the time frame and the milieu in which English (as a language) is spoken.
This gives rise to the notion that English has varied ever since time
immemorial, thanks to the cultivation of its vocabulary via its French, Latin
and Saxon influences. As a testament to this, the evolution of the English
language has ever since mirrored how we could expect more words
adapted from other languages or dialects to be part of our English lexicon,
and thereby provide a renaissance of horizons that should connect every
English speaker to the rest of the world.
It is much to be expected, therefore, that upon the growth of English
speakers and the scope of its linguistic influences, certain words and even
expressions have since entered the lexicon. Inasmuch as English has also
begun to take its place in the world of trade, politics, business, and
technology (among others), the said language also had to cope with the
multitudinous facets and aspects of such; thus, the spawning of a
particular usage of English as a language based on diverse fields of
concentration or specialisation.
As we have understood beforehand, English as a language can be used in
a standard way and a non-standard way, i.e. whether the conveying of
thoughts in English may be comprehended by all speakers of the said
language regardless of race and linguistic background. Indeed, we have
come across the different ways of expressing English in standard and nonstandard form, i.e., formally, informally, or with certain vestiges of
localisations (pidgin, creole, etc.); but additional questions on what can be
associated with standardising English may actually be raised. Must
terms like modularise, networking, or programmatically be deemed
ungrammatical, or worse, beyond the scope of correct English usage
inasmuch as normal words are purported to have morphed into an
unrecognisable set of expressions? In this case (and others similar to
such), it is therefore appropriate to consider that there are newer lexical
derivations which are now used freely such that it would be easier to
communicate certain concepts, especially within particular sectors or
groups. Therefore, such derivations are particularly useful, say, when one
belongs to the medical field or business sector and ideas have to be
communicated using a specific set of terminologiesjargonsin order to
establish a common understanding pertaining to concepts solely
recognisable to individuals in a certain profession.
Jargons, according to the Websters Dictionary, can be defined (among
others) as the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special
activity or group. (Merriam-Websters Dictionary Online,

ENG 1 SUPPLEMENTARY HANDOUT: VARIETIES OF ENGLISH (2)


MONREAL, S.M.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jargon) If this definition
should be taken into consideration, it must be understood that the usage
of language contributes much on how comprehension regarding technical
concepts may occur through terminologies derived from pre-existing ones,
of course, with meanings re-defined alongside that which would be
recognisable to particular groups. Thus, the words ledger or best
practices might seem foreign or alien to us especially when used by
business management-inclined individuals whenever they would frame
their propositions and the like. Same with the usage of metaphor or
motif which may mean something else to a student of interior design as
it would be for a person of literature. Should this mean, then, that
language usage would be incorrect just so a word or set of words may
deviate from its denoted meanings? Of course not, inasmuch as
expressions or choice of words may change depending on several factors
industry or choice of profession, included.
Such, therefore, is the wonder of language learning: it transcends cultures
or even the permutations of societal class or economies just so ideas may
be conveyed and freely communicated.
For consideration: Some examples
To view samples of jargons and other terminologies extant in businesses or
management, this website may be helpful:
Useful English Words and Jargons
(http://www.slideshare.net/ykmt96/useful-english-words-and-jargons)
Computer jargons: Most Common Computer Jargons List
(http://kpush.tripod.com/tweaking/id49.html)
~~~~~~~
WHEN WE TALK ENGLISH: FORMAL INFORMAL WHAT??
Nothing could better describe the wonders of language learning than by
acknowledging the sundry ways of expressing a thought. It is never new to
us that we distinguish the different forms of addressing ourselves to an
eminent politician or man of letters, with that of our contemporaries like
our friends and acquaintances. Similarly do we also place a distinction on
how we ought to address our elders as against communicating with our
best buddies. Thus, it is always important to identify the circumstance
through which we should use language, since language must be used
WISELY.
The famed handbook on English grammar Elements of Style originally
penned by William Strunk and edited by EB White could not confirm less of
such a reality, that usage of English must be contextualised such that it
may not be abused. It may not be that wise to communicate our thoughts
using high-faluting terms that, although may impress, would sometimes
obscure meaning. It is with thus that ol Will Strunk has given out pieces of
advice through his handy booklet that to be preciseand better yet,
conciseimparts more of what we deign to say than that of incorporating
loquacious elocutions: without sacrificing meaning, of course.

ENG 1 SUPPLEMENTARY HANDOUT: VARIETIES OF ENGLISH (2)


MONREAL, S.M.
But we might all ask ourselves: Why is it then that authors like
Shakespeare or the pre-eminent statesmen of yore like Abraham Lincoln or
our revered literary criticism essayists would incorporate seeminglyenigmatic phrases and long lines of sentences just to prove their own
point? If it is so much about style and emphasis, then why would they
sacrifice meaning in favour of style? It would be tantamount to them
defying the utilitarian nature of language! True enough, in some
perspective it would; but it must also be remembered that context
influences language use. Basically there are kinds of writing that uphold
rhetoric more than anything else inasmuch as these are mostly
expository in nature, geared at elaborating ideas as extensively as
possible. Relatively, it would be more awkward to use informal terms such
as dude to replace individual and stuff as against entities or
things (however the context may be) when what ought to be penned is
an academic treatise on literary criticism or a technical document. It
should be acknowledged, therefore, that correctness of usage should
never be relative to ones whims but apropos to intention.
So when and how does one write formally? Informally?
Nothing of an edict could entirely dictate how and when do formal and
informal writing take place except that concerning situation and context.
When delving into formal writing, one does away with amicabilitythe
conversational tonebut instead ushers in a more impersonal (and
sometimes) academic air. This is in contrast to informal writing inasmuch
as it has a personal touch, always giving way to familiarity. And how do we
write formally and informally? Indeed: choice of words and how to express
our thoughts through such.
For example, in a conversation we could almost always spontaneously
declare: The technician repaired the fault on 12 th June. Now its your turn
to pay us. Notice how the tone could be easily recognised as
straightforward and determined. One could very well hint at the demand
of, perhaps, the company representative that it would merit ones own
spur-of-the-moment reaction as wellwithout the called-for reserve that
one could assume when addressing persons in authority. In this regard
especially when it merits a written correspondence, especially a business
one at thatit would be most appropriate to revamp ones phrasing of
ideas. What could be more formal than Although the fault was repaired on
the 12th of June, payment for this intervention has still not been received.
Keenly notice the difference between the two examples then gauge.
How is the magic created, then? Nothing else should come to mind except
correct words and correct expressions at the right time and the right place.
References:
Srunk, William and White, E.B. The Elements of Style. Revised Ed.
Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. Print.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/jargon

ENG 1 SUPPLEMENTARY HANDOUT: VARIETIES OF ENGLISH (2)


MONREAL, S.M.
Forlini, Gary, Bauer, Mary Beth, et al. Grammar and Composition Series 4.
Singapore: Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd., 2010. Print.