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ENG - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: ENG I agree with Richard Lederer’s assertion that most people in the U.S. converse differently than I do. Apparently, it is a fact that we are comfortable with the way we talk yet we feel that others talk weirdly. I do agree with Lederer’s statement because I have had the opportunity to interact with numerous people including my friends, family and neighbors…
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I have friends from school who also speak English in a way I find weird. It is undoubted that all those people also may find my English weird in some aspects. Sometimes they may not make out what I am saying; the same way I find their assertionsdifficult to understand sometimes. Richard Lederer’s point is therefore true. Apparently, one aspect of American jagged individualism is that not everyone says the same word in a similar way. It is also possible that not all my friends, family members and neighborsuse the same name to refer to the same object (Lederer). Across the streets of America, in schools, at home, in churches, I find people having different accents and talk that sounds almost weird because I have never heard it before. Sometimes, my friend in school says “clear” instead of “clean” or rather says “plumb.” My instructor also seems to use English words that I cannot reckon. Surely, across the U.S., Americans talk different (Lederer). It depends where someone lives and whom or who it is that someone talks to during discourse. Speech surely gives the speaker an identity. To address this issue of dialects, accents and pronunciation, there are various examples from history that prove the fact of identity with speech. For instance, the biblical book of Judges of the Old Testamenttells of how a group of speakers used the word “shibboleth” a Hebrew word for a stream, as a password for their military team (Lederer). The Gileadites had subduedthe Ephraimites in war and were holding some places on the river Jordan where the fleeing Ephraimites had to cross when going home. In those times, it was difficult to tell one kind of a soldier from the other because they were not clad in uniforms. The Gileadites reckoned that their foes spoke a different dialect of Hebrew and thus they would have some trouble when pronouncing the “sh” sound (Lederer). Each time an Ephraimite soldier wanted to cross the river, the soldiers of Gilead asked them if they were Ephraimites. If they said no, then the men of Gilead told them to say Shibboleth and they would say Sibboleth because they would not pronounce it correctly. They would take the soldier and slay them in the passages of Jordan. Such a trick led to the death of numerous Ephraimite soldiers. It is true that we speak and talk differently. Most of us disregard and despise other peoples’ pronunciation or find them weird just as the Ephraimite soldiers thought of their Gilead foes. If they struggled to pronounce the word shibboleth correctly, they would have saved their lives (Lederer). In another example to depict the issue of identity, we see how during world war two;the American officers applied the dialectic strategy of the Gileadites from the Old Testament. Knowing that the Japanese soldiers had problems in pronouncing the letter l, their sentries advised them to use passwords that had l’sonly in them, for instance lollapalooza (Lederer). Amazingly, the closest that the Japanese would get was rarraparooza. In contemporary times, English speakers do not face execution for pronouncing their words in different ways from other English speakers. However, I would find a word that my neighbor pronounces as “eccentric,” “weird” or rather “out of touch.” Read More
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