Japan's Cinderella Motif- Beauty Industry and Mass Culture Interpretations of a Popular Icon
— Laura Miller
Too much evo-psych but still important observation, from Psychology Behind The Cinderella Complex
...there is also a division between the smart and the pretty girl. “We can’t do both, evidently,” Fraser said. “And if you are both, then you’re universally hated by both men and women; women because they’re jealous of you, and men because they don’t know what to do with you.” She said that a woman “who is living up to her potential is often cast aside or becomes a social outcast.”
From Wiki's entry on prestige (sociolinguistics)
Some instances of contact between languages with different prestige levels have resulted in diglossia, a phenomenon in which a community uses a high prestige language or dialect in certain situations—usually for newspapers, in literature, on university campuses, for religious ceremonies, and on television and the radio—but uses a low prestige language or dialect for other situations—often in conversation in the home or in letters, comic strips, and in popular culture. Linguist Charles A. Ferguson's 1959 article "Diglossia" listed the following examples of diglossic societies: in Switzerland, Swiss Standard German and Swiss German; in the Middle East and North Africa, Standard Arabic and vernacular Arabic; in Haiti, Standard French and Kréyòl; in Greece, Katharevousa and Dhimotiki; and in Norway, Bokmål and Nynorsk.
Although those (I gather) are significant linguistic differences between prestige and standard, couldn't a situation like Southern/non-Southern be considered a kind of diglossia? My understanding is that code-switching is when you mix two languages (dialects?) in the same sentence/breath, like a kind of maladapted or hyper loanword use. Diglossia sounds more like a complete switch, like what I do when speaking with relatives versus the way I speak at work. It also sounds like what people are talking about for Black Americans, who switch easily from Standard American at work to Black American while with friends/family or non-work situations. As others mentioned on earlier threads, that as long as you use those structures and expressions, you're still speaking "Southern" even if your accent is soft (or non-existent), the accent of Southern American, like Black American, is not the key feature. It's the significant differences in the grammatical structure as well as the idiomatic expressions.
Now I am reminded of that segment from Airplane
: "Oh stewardess! I speak jive."
Tangential note: out of curiosity, I just looked up jive
, wondering where the name itself (jive) originated. Still no idea on that one, but I did just learn that linguistically, African-American Vernacular English (AAVE, or what I was calling Black American) is a creole. The bit about prestige dialects remains at the forefront of my lizard brain right now, so that popped back in as I got to the section about Ebonics... and I gotta say, I loathe that term. The political ramifications aren't helped by a strange kind of verbal synesthesia, where the capital E + the bon
looks... I don't know how to put it. Like something you'd call a child's music toy, or something. Not quite plastic-cheap, but that kind of reaction. Hard to qualify/express.
However, it seems to me there's a prestige, of a sort, when a dialect is known as a creole, probably in part because of the association with "creole" and "New Orleans" (in terms of cultural import/impact). New Orleans is, and hopefully will continue to be, a huge cultural value for America. So maybe we have an association, thanks to that, that lends prestige to "creole", regardless of whether the listener understands the linguistic differentiation. I think maybe it's also because most people are aware that "creole" (unlike the maligned notion of 'pidgin') is a dialect-into-language. Credibility, perhaps, that isn't granted by a bizarre and frankly stupid invented-word like Ebonics?
Strange, to be reminded yet again (as though I could forget) that words really do make all the difference. Instead of Ebonics and its ridiculous assumption that the non-Standard English is a sign of Black American childrens' lesser communication skills (oh please
)... by emphasizing the creole aspect, the truth becomes: Black American children are actually gaining a skill many Standard-American speaking children don't gain: multilingualism. There are huge benefits to having that kind of multi-linguistic exposure as small children, not the least of which is a facility to learn other languages, because the brain is already used to switching back and forth -- and we've got more than just American-English vs non-English languages, we've also got computer languages, these days.
Too bad I'm never a hiring manager, or I think this would be a valuable trait in potential developers. Someone who can code-switch (or use diglossia) between a creole and Standard American is possibly also someone who can do the same with computer-language syntax. It's just one more way of adapting and working with language, and long experience in code-switching gives you the tools to apply the same in a new area. I think that'd be incredibly valuable (especially in industries like mine, which are always stumbling over and into new developments that then need to be integrated with the old).
Then again, I'm not a hiring manager... nor has any hiring manager ever given even a moment's notice to the languages I've studied. Or maybe it's just that as far as I know, I've never had a direct manager who isn't mono-lingual. Maybe you only recognize the value when you're multi-lingual yourself, or spend most of your time in multi-lingual environments, enough to realize that mono-lingual is... well, it's a drawback. It's not something to be proud of.
Also, awesome quote: "A language is just a dialect with an army."