Standard English

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The question to ask is: ‘Why not use Standard English all the time?’

Language is a powerful communication tool the user holds to express their individual identity and ingroup solidarity. The use of Standard English helps to direct this, as it acts as the structure of communication, ingroup and between speech communities to effectively present a standard for mutual understanding. Outside of Standard English comes the use of slang, netspeak and textspeak, which helps to develop and enrich the language, as well as evolve with contemporary Australia and its fast paced lifestyle. Using the Standard all the time would be exclusive of the linguistic freedom formed by the world beyond Standard English with varying ethnolects, but is also a necessity to build our language upon.

We communicate for fun – it is fulfilling and provides for ‘good conversation’, an exchange of words between speakers with mutual values and interests to entertain ourselves and our audience. ‘Correct’ English use in these contexts is not always essential, due to the close social distance of the interlocutors and sharing of idioms and slang within one’s speech community. Teenspeak is a widely used form of communication, and is seen just as legitimate as an email or an essay (Georgina Dimopoulos from The Age), as it provides successful communication among its users, and acts to reflect ones self with the amount of language play. It helps to enrich the language by stepping outside of Standard English, which heavy inclusions of the lexeme ‘like’ to support varying purposes, ‘It just doesn’t, like, fit right, ya know?’, in this case, helps to ‘soften the blow’ instead of being upfront and direct, ‘It just doesn’t fit right’. ‘Like’ and ‘goes is also used as a replacement of ‘said’ in the retelling of stories and events, ‘…and the other one’s like ‘I didn’t for shit, eh?’ and the other one goes, ‘chk chk boom’’ (Clare Werbeloff, in relation to a shooting at Kings Cross). The lexeme used instead of...
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