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#1294: Plain language : Davis responds to Nekita (fwd)

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

I have nothing against "plain language." I use much of it  when teaching,
even at college level. However, I need to TEACH my students to use
unfamiliar terms like "ore" and "syncretism" and "context" and "lwa," so
they can converse on the topics they are learning.  I also believe in
stretching my own knowledge & skills. Each discipline is its own language
community . There are reasons (often good, though occasionally not) for
doctors, lawyers, anthropologists, chemical engineers, and linguists to
create their own argots. I, for one, love to "listen in" to complex
conversations among specialists in linguistics, astronomy, historiography,
or metaphysics. How else can one learn? We learn Kreyol, or English, by
spending many years "listening in" to conversations around us that, at
first, we do not understand at all. Slowly, we begin to gain some
proficiency; then we can be grown-ups and enter into conversation. Please do
not THINK of discouraging intelligent conversations using terminology
appropriate to the issues. That is the joy of this mailing list. If someone
doesn't want to "do" linguistics, as I often tire of party politics, just
erase the message & go on! Do not "dumb down" our forum to the lowest
vocabulary level on-line, please!