Lotus Noir Experience

the teaching site of Nathan Jones

The Basics Of English

English is much more than a set of rules. It is a rich, flexible language that offers many choices.  To speak and write effectively – at home, at school, and on the job – you need to know what the varieties of English are and how to choose among them.

English is a West Germanic Language of England: the official language of the United Kingdom and an official, standard, or auxiliary language in the United States and regions formerly under British or U.S. dominion, as Ireland, Canada, Australia, and parts of the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, and Oceania. Languages that fall under this genre are: Dutch, German, and the Scandinavian languages.

Language is a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition.

Standard American English is used in schools, newspapers, and on radio and television. There are two kinds of dialects used in the United States; regional dialects and ethnic dialects.

Regional Dialects:  There are four major regional dialects in the U.S. – New England, Northern, Midland, and Southern. Pronunciation of words often vary from one dialect region to another.

Northerners tend to drop the “r” from words; “barn” sounds like “bahn.”

Midland and Southern areas tend to add an “r” sound, so “wash” sounds like “warsh.”

Regional dialects also vary in grammar and vocabulary.

Example: Sick to my stomach (New York); sick at my stomach (Georgia). Georgia: soda, tonic or pop.

Ethnic Dialect: Black English and Hispanic English (Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and Puerto Rico) – Ok, tote, yam, nitty-gritty, taco and avocado.