Rewriting classic lit in 1337

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Fiveos22, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816

    Fiveos22

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    Nov 20, 2003
    #1
    Literature sent to hell in a handbasket.

    If I were dead, I would be spinning in my grave at this. I can understand why people make abridged versions of books, but this is ridiculous. Is it just me who feels that rewriting books in 1337 speak is going to exacerbate the literacy problem that they aim to ameliorate?

    /I don't use thesauruses.
     
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Sod off
    #2
    Oh my God, this is the nastiest thing this bibliophile has seen in a while.
    :mad:

    That prof should know better.
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #3
    Speaking of bibles (;)):

    For those of you who want to stay up on the bible but don't want to carry around the hard cover edition.

    Link
     
  4. Apple macrumors 6502

    Apple

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    #4
    I think its a terrible idea and makes it even harder to understand. Besides, Im sure none of the students even read them anyway. I know I wouldnt
     
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #5
    Like the other thread on the classics, this would make it even worse....

    Bleh

    Romeo and Juliet in Ebonics - now that's got to be good. ;)

    D
     
  6. camomac macrumors 6502a

    camomac

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    Left Coast
    #6
    not if you are supa1337... j/k.
     
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    #8
    To clarify, he's not translating it into 1337, which would be much more complicated. He's translating it into a condensed form suitable for text messages.

    Still pointless, but it's not 1337...
     
  8. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

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    #9
    Burn this and ebonics to oblivion; both are of equal waste.
     
  9. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #10
    You've gotta meet kids where they are. I have my students translate Shakespeare to their day to day life and language (that's life and language of the projects and other urban poverty), and not only does it get them to read the play, but it gets them to understand the play.

    You "burn" ebonics, you're "burining" the only bridge some kids have to "standard" English. Kinda inflammatory to devalue an entire dialect to such a degree, no?

    Link
     
  10. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

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    #11
    Lowering the bar and using something as a bridge to learning are two different things. As far as it being inflammatory, that's simply my opinion.
     
  11. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #12
    Isn't the point of [primary/secondary] education, among other things, to be taught how to read, write, and speak properly? Calling this "dialect" acceptable is nothing more than a politically-correct celebration of mediocrity.
     
  12. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    #13
    How can anyone disagree? Academically speaking, though, 'Ebonics' is a dialect because it follows grammatical and vocal rules consistently. I'm not American but I don't see how children born in the States and exposed to Standard English education, media, culture, etc., can maintain a dialect - housing estate or not. The obvious (albeit over-simplified) conclusion is that it's deliberate - a group thing (thang?). Basically, bastardized English. Encouraging that in the education system would appear to be nothing more than political correctness.

    Imagine teaching Cockney in London schools:

    Oy! Gissityawanka = Excuse me. May I have that? :eek:
     
  13. PBGPowerbook macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2004
  14. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #15
    I had no idea that people were still so racist. Ebonics isn't a bastardization of so-called standard english, simply because there is no one English. Each place that speaks English speaks it differently. Ebonics has a distinct grammar from the English taught in schools. Of course, none of that makes much sense to you unless you take a Linguistics course- or go abroad. I came to the us from India 16 years ago, so I've grown up witnessing the different ways people speak English. Come on, you can't seriously believe that your way of life is the only legitimate one?

    Corrected spelling, caps.
     
  15. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #16
    Woe un2mnkind! The text message iz trying ta summarise da
    great poet John Milton an' uh respected academic thinks dis here may
    be uh smart new way ta teach literature.

    A company offering mobile phones ta students has hired
    Professor John Sutherland, professor emeritus o' English
    Literature at University College London, ta offer subscribers text
    message summaries an' quotes from literary classics.

    The hope iz dat messages in da truncated shorthand o' mobile
    phones will he`p make great literature mo' accessible.

    "We iz confident dat our version o' 'text' books will genuinely
    he`p thousands o' students remember key plots an' quotes, an'
    raise up educational standards rather than decrease levels o'
    literacy," da company, Dot Mobile, said in uh press release.

    Hamlet's "To be or not ta be" soliloquy iz rendered: "2B? NT2B?
    =???". At da end o' Romeo an' Juliet, "bothLuvrs kill Emselves,"
    while Jane Austen's Pride an' Prejudice concludes when
    "Evry1GtsMaryd."

    "Woe un2mnkind," iz part o' its summary o' Milton'sParadise
    Lost. Milton actually wrote "Woe ta da inhabitants on Earth."

    "Dot mobile'sunique service amply demonstrates text's ability ta
    fillet out da important elements in uh plot. Take fo' example da
    ending ta Jane Eyre -- 'MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus'. Was ever uh climax
    bettah compressed?" said Sutherland, dis here year's chairman o' da
    judges fo' da Man Booker literature prize.

    That's"mad wife sets fire ta house" in English -- da climactic
    event in Charlotte Bronte's Romantic classic. slap mah fro!
     
  16. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #17
    There's always someone quick to shout racism. But that isn't the issue here. Of course there are a million different forms of English. Within the UK there are countless accents, dialects and even languages (Welsh Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic). No-one in their right mind would deny the 'validity' of creoles either. But creoles arose from the need to communicate cross-culturally and cross-lingually. I was referring to pockets of youths in inner-city housing who speak a certain way to be identified with a certain ethnic group. The same people who tend to lose that way of speaking as they rise the socio-economic ladder.

    No idea how old you are but unles you went to the US very young you may well have an accent. But I'm sure you speak grammatically correct English, and use conventional (correct) spelling. And you weren't even born there.
     
  17. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Ah, someone from England proposing to know about African American English. I don't know what blacks in your cities speak, but if its anything like Dizzee Rascal, its not ebonics- its street slang.

    Accents/vocab and grammars are very different things. Language is gauged on the basis of grammar structures, not accents/vocab. There are only 3! (or 6) possible grammars in the world, given the 3 basic parts of sentence structure (subject object verb). The line that demarcates Ebonics from so-called Standard English lies in the particular grammar structure used.
    The difference between street talk and Ebonics and Standard English is this:

    Street Slang: I *^%@#$$ that riide yo.
    Standard English: I've long since been done with that car.
    Ebonics: I done been done with tha car.
    See the difference?

    You're right though- if I spoke with a Indian English accent, people would start asking me to fix their Dell :rolleyes:. As you so nicely put it, the people in charge of the corporate ladder all look a certain way, and they all speak a certain way, and in order to play ball on their turf, you've got to speak like them. Lucky for me, I've lived here almost my whole life.

    And it is really a race thing. Ebonics, also known as African American English, is isolated to a community of speakers of a certain 'race', living in the rural south (of the US).

    The real question is- why is it when white people speak English, its called a language, but when blacks speak it its called a "dialect" or a "slang"? I think the answer is something like this: In countries like Canada and India, large ethnic groups that speak languages differently are given recognition. In countries like France, the US, and Spain, large minorities are expected to conform to standard set by the majority. So when millions of blacks speak AAE/Ebonics, they are degraded, told they are simply bastardizing Standard English.

    I'll leave it to someone who is Basque or Corsican or Québécois to explain why it is important that linguistic differences be affirmed, and not passed off as mistakes or worse- that speakers should just conform to the majority language so that they can get a job.
     
  18. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #19
    Not at all. My original posting was along the lines of "but I don't see how...". More of a question really.

    Point taken, sir. I am indeed referring to street slang. I see that now.

    Articles, prepositions, subordinate clauses, tense agreement, auxiliary verbs, etc. etc. have some part to play, I'm sure you'll agree. If you're an English teacher your courses must be short :D

    *Point 2 above*
     
  19. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #20
    I agree, sentence structures are often quite a bit more complicated, but a basic sentence structure still remains centered around subject, object and verb.

    Being a Linguistics major is fun. So is student teaching in urban Springfield schools. :D Anyways, I'm going to bed now.:eek:
     
  20. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

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    Nov 3, 2005
    #21
    Disagreeing about the legitimacy or application of something doesn't make one racist. Perhaps it's not politically correct but I for one am not in accordance with setting my personal beliefs and opinions aside for the sake of appeasing the greater majority and/or minority.

    Screaming 'racist' is quite popular when disagreements arise these days however.
     
  21. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #22
    Let me clarify...
    Your belief, I can do nothing about.
    This is what is clearly racist:

    The real question is- why is it when white people speak English, its called a language, but when blacks speak it its called a "dialect" or a "slang"? I think the answer is something like this: In countries like Canada and India, large ethnic groups that speak languages differently are given recognition. In countries like France, the US, and Spain, large minorities are expected to conform to standard set by the majority. So when millions of blacks speak AAE/Ebonics, they are degraded, told they are simply bastardizing Standard English.

    I'll leave it to someone who is Basque or Corsican or Québécois to explain why it is important that linguistic differences be affirmed, and not passed off as mistakes or worse- that speakers should just conform to the majority language so that they can get a job.

    and it is something we can actually do something about.
     
  22. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

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    Nov 3, 2005
    #23
    I see your point and am withdrawing from this thread while things are still relatively civil. Thanks for all the well-thought and well-written responses (everyone).
     
  23. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    Jun 13, 2005
    #24
    I teach in Providence. I had a much different view of race in America before I taught here. Now it seems impossible to me that anyone would argue that there isn't insititutionalized racism, or that all Americans are on a level playing field.

    The fact is, many of my African American and Latino students drop out. And one of the main reasons is because they've come to associate school with a codemnation of their identity (the way we use language is very much bound up in our identity -- to speak "correctly" is empowering). Since first grade my students have been told that they way they speak -- and their families and friends speak -- is "wrong," and needs correction (usually by the white teacher -- and yes, I'm a white teacher).

    If I can get them to translate Romeo and Juliet into slang, you better believe I'm going to do it. My students, like students anywhere, are seeking any kind of affirmation. I'm not arguing for ebonics in schools. I am arguing that one can't ignore that to teach students to speak and write toward the mainstream, you have to value the fluencies they already have.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #25
    That's fine and all, but I think students at school should be taught a standard english. They can speak however they want at home, and nobody is denying this right. They can even speak how they want at school. However, assignments and tests should be (somewhat) standardized because it better prepares them to function in the workplace and in general.

    For example, look at China. They speak a several major dialects of chinese (some are incomprehensible if you can only speak one dialect), and dozens of different "subdialects" (I guess they can be considered "dialects" as well) in China, and yet they're taught in Mandarin at school, making it easier to communicate and conduct business within it's own borders, which was more difficult in the past. Even their writing is standardized.

    You can argue that language can never be standardized, and that segmentation within China will happen over time, but I think being taught a standardized english in the US isn't racist. Imagine teaching english in an area filled with mostly Japanese people. Do you stop differentiating between the "r" and "l" sounds completely and stat teaching them "engrish" instead? :confused:

    I'm not white, either, if that makes a difference.
     

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