VERNACULAR SPEECH

[Sorry–had to get Jessica Simpson’s name out of this whole thing. Except for here, of course. Damn, she’s clever.]

Reid, who by the way started off so well with his posts on the march yesterday, before the “maid” posting, makes good points in his last post. However, on the issue of vernacular speech that comes off as offensive or patronizing (and I’m sure unintentionally), I have to go with Tim. Here’s why:

My understanding of the rendition of vernacular speech into “standard” print English is that in transcribing dialogue, unless there is some specific reason for approximating accent and dialect, the generally agreed rule is to standardize contractions, obvious translation-enunciation variances, accidental grammar variances, etc. in journalistic usage. The reason is that to do otherwise can draw undue attention to the speech inflection, and not the content, not to say create unintentional vulnerabilities for the writer. This comes up not just for nonEnglish speakers, but also for regional dialect (such as Texan).

If any FB Nation copy editors or writing profs out there know otherwise, please advise.

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