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Vernacular EloquenceWhat Speech Can Bring to Writing$
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Peter Elbow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199782505.001.0001

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A New Culture of Vernacular Literacy on the Horizon

A New Culture of Vernacular Literacy on the Horizon

Chapter:
(p.363) 18 A New Culture of Vernacular Literacy on the Horizon
Source:
Vernacular Eloquence
Author(s):

Peter Elbow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199782505.003.0018

This chapter describes a new culture of vernacular literacy that will welcome speech—and multiple spoken languages—for writing. It argues that the existing culture of literacy has been moving for some time now toward this vernacular literacy in which all the different versions of spoken English will be deemed appropriate for serious writing. To support its argument, the chapter considers historical examples that illustrate the tension between divergence and standardization, with particular reference to spoken language and written language. It also outlines three stages in the gradual transition to vernacular literacy.

Keywords:   vernacular literacy, speech, writing, literacy, English, divergence, standardization, spoken language, written language

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