Inspiration: “Proper” Use of Language

I came across this wonderful video on my Facebook feed and I couldn’t help but share it. I used to be a stickler for “proper” English, correcting my friends and peers whenever I had the chance and I really couldn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing. It wasn’t until I read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid in college that I realized that the notion of “proper” English is oppressive and not very open-minded. It suggests that there is only one “correct” way to speak English when, in fact, all of the dialects of English (and any other language) are beautiful and valid and deserve to be honored. Needless to say, I am not the language critic that I once was and this poet really illustrates beautifully why it’s important for us to challenge our notions of how language should be.

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