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Standard English Pronunciation



John Wonder agrees on the need for a standard English pronunciation: "I agree with you thoroughly. We called it "stage English". I though Bette Davis was a good example. Of course I think no one can equal Prince Charles". Well Tony Blair can. More important is the expression "stage English". In German, called "Bühnensprache", it was important because it established a standard German to replace the various dialects. Shakespeare and Goethe wrote beautifully, and the actors had to speak clearly to be heard. Compare that with our TV script writers and the actors who play the parts. The bad English of today is spread by TV.

Paul Simon seems to have moved from Northeast to Southwest China, allowing him to compare Chinese local cooking. I hope he enjoys it. He writes "I'm in complete agreement. Mainly because, it's just not that hard to focus oneself and lose an accent or start using a standard version of one's tongue! That's a LOT easier than learning a whole different language! Take it from someone who is NOT a gifted linguist but STILL managed to learn some really hard languages, like Mandarin and Korean! Right now, living in southwest China, I'd way rather have to learn Sichuanhua (the local Mandarin dialect) than learn some whole new language like Tibetan. It also wouldn't be that hard, even WITHOUT having Mandarin as my native tongue! Those wishing to better themselves have to put out a little, even if it's just a few hours a month of study and practice. Those who can't and don't won't have nearly the opportunities for betterment. In this, language is no different from anything else".

My comment: In a debate with a black Stanford professor who promotes "black English", I pointed out that the use of it decreases the likelihood of employment for the speaker. If we want English to become the world language, we must promote a standard pronunciation. We are now on the world stage.

Ronald Hilton - 10/28/01


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