The new way to avoid checking your emails every ten minutes...

Welcome to my blog! On it I'm going to post all the things we cover in class (handouts, youtube vids, useful stuff in the library, revision notes....) so it'll be in one easy to find spot. If you want to ask me anything direct (and that incluldes you, parents) then don't bother emailing me at my gmail address, but do drop me a line at my school address.

Monday 18 July 2016

It's been a while - back with scousers, gypsies and front row skullduggery

Three years, one baby and a new school later, I'm coming back and going to try and blog weekly about things that we've covered in class, plus any other things I notice along the way that you might find helpful. First of all - anyone studying language change seriously needs to read this book here, or at least get involved in the free first chapter. Read the first chapter with two highlighters - the first for things that you've recognised from class / things that make sense, and another highlighter for things you don't understand and want me to clarify.

 Although this was a few weeks ago, I'm still interested in this argument that blew up in a rugby match between England and Wales. England prop Joe Marler called his opposite number Samson Lee "Gypsy boy" during some handbags, and was subsequently charged with misconduct. A lot of old rugby boys have been wheeled out to say the usual: it was nothing, back in the day it would have been settled with fists, the apology was accepted etc etc. But would this be any different if Lee had been black, and Marler referred to that? I've played some ropey amateur level rugby, and nearly lost an eye because of some front row cheating (yeah, thanks, Ilkeston RFC), so verbals really do pale into comparison to what goes on in the front row and in that sense it is easy to see it as nothing.

Context is everything here - 'gypsy' on its own can function as a fair enough adjective, but combine it with the insult 'boy' and it's definitely marking him out as 'other', in the same way racist insults work. I've got no problem with being described as scouse ("that scouse fella over there"), but I get pretty unhappy pretty quickly if it's combined with an insult to mark me out as different to everyone else.

All in all, I'm still not too sure what I make of it all, but it is very interesting to see the speed in which people came out to give PC a time honoured beating - the Telegraph article on its own will make a useful example of the hard time PC gets in the press.