Department of English

Watch Your Language

Course: 188

Section: 002

Instructor: Looker, Samantha

We all use language in many distinct ways.  In the course of one day, you might text several friends, write part of an essay for class, call your mom, practice for a job interview, and talk with a roommate over dinner.  Some of us would use English for all of these tasks; some of us wouldn't.  Even if you're technically using the same language, though, you will find that it sounds very different depending on the situation.  This class will explore how we vary our spoken and written language to fit in with different people and communities and to present ourselves how we want to be seen. It will also consider the ideas that circulate in our culture about what ways of speaking and writing are more correct, appropriate, or "good" than others.  What rules do we learn without trying,  what rules do we have to struggle to learn, and what rules might we want to break on purpose?  Through readings, discussions, and essays, we will see how our thoughts on language affect our behaviors and opinions of others--at home, at school, and everywhere in between.

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