Friday, June 28, 2013

Language in the trial of George Zimmerman

I haven't been following the trial of George Zimmerman for the slaying of Trayvon Martin, but apparently the twitmosphere has been twittering, or shall I say tittering, away at the testimony of Rachel Jeantel. Sigh. Little did I know that my posting of Stephen Fry's thoughts on language would come in handy so soon. Dear twits, before you go on lampooning the way someone else speaks, maybe you should take a listen. Because I'm pretty sure he's given the matter a bit more thought than you have.
Meanwhile, we have the valiant Chris Hayes and his guest John McWhorter, pointing out that just because someone's speech is different than yours, that doesn't make theirs wrong. Way to go to bat for Ms. Jeantel, guys!      

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  1. Seana

    Its rather bad manners to critique someone's dialect and its actually pretty vulgar to suggest that your way of speaking English is superior to the rest of humanity's. In Britain the critique usually comes with ugly class based baggage. In America there's the class issue but an even uglier race dimension too.

  2. From my observations, sitting in the witness box is no treat under the best of circumstances, and this sounds like it was worse than most. I haven't read the twitter feed because I think I would get too pissed off, but apparently it wasn't just language they were all abuzz about. Her weight, skin color and gender all got Twittertime. Geez. Remind me never to get famous.

  3. Sad sign of the times when so many feel the need to say whatever pops into their head, without consideration of how it could affect others. I think we need a revival of the golden rule. Thank you, Seana, for pointing this out too. - Janet