Discussing language with Amber & Paul, including issues such as errors made by native speakers, language change, whether language standards are declining, the effects of technology on language and how to cut an avocado without injuring yourself.
The other day Amber and Paul came over to my flat do a podcast. We were having tea, chatting and getting ready to record something, and we just started talking about language, I think because Paul said that he found it weird that even though he can speak 3 languages really well, he knows nothing about language – he doesn’t know the grammatical terms, the rules of what makes something right or wrong or somewhere in between, and we were talking about it, and I quickly managed to press the record button and ended up recording about 50 minutes of us rambling on about language – all totally unplanned and spontaneous.
You’re about to listen to it. This is an Amber & Paul episode so you’re going to hear an unscripted and natural chat between friends so there might be a bit of swearing.
Before you listen to us discussing language-related issues, consider these questions, which are at the heart of our conversation.
- What are some common errors native English speakers make in English?
- How do native English speakers feel about mistakes in English, particularly mistakes made by other native speakers?
- Are some errors worse than others?
- How does a language evolve? Are errors a part of that process?
- Has your language, or English, changed much in the last 100, 200, 300 years?
- Is your language, or English, getting worse than before? Are standards of language declining?
- Has a language ever totally broken down and died due to falling standards?
- Why did latin die out as a language?
- On a slight tangent, what’s the safest way to cut an avocado?
- Back on track, how does Charles Darwin relate to language development?
- What effect is technology having on our language? Is it making us better or worse at communicating?
- Are we better at communicating than we used to be? Are we getting better at communicating? How do you even measure that?
- Do you know more about English grammar and so on than most native speakers of English?
- Do you know more about English grammar and so on than Paul Taylor?
- Are you better at cooking than Paul Taylor?
Watch out for answers, and general rambling on the subject of those questions as you now listen to our conversation about language.
That’s it! Leave your comments below.
So there you are, that was our conversation about language.
I invite you to take part in the conversation by getting into the comment section.
Let me remind you of those questions from the beginning. (see above)
There were a few unanswered questions in there, and I think I might be asking David Crystal about some of them.
Remember that? I’m going to interview the world’s leading voice on language – Professor David Crystal. It’ll be a chance to ask him various questions about language. I’ve already collected some questions from my listeners, and I have loads to ask him too, but feel free to offer up a question or two and if I get a chance I’ll ask him.