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English Language   >   Topical Language Issues

Debates in Language Use: Why Do They Matter?

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Topical Language Issues

In this course, Mr Dan Clayton (Independent Scholar) explores a variety of linguistic issues related to the use of the English language. In the first module, we think about why people take language so seriously, and why debates about its 'correct' use can get so heated. In the second module, we explore the debate about what (if anything) constitutes 'correct' English, before turning in the third module to the perceived negative effect of technology on language. In the fourth module, we think about the policing of language for reasons of 'political correctness' (or 'wokeness'), while in the fifth module we think about taboo lexis more generally, including attitudes to swearing and other discriminatory or insulting language. In the sixth and final module, we think about attitudes to accents, including the perception that some accents are 'better' than others.

Debates in Language Use: Why Do They Matter?

In this module, we think about why debates about language use are so common, focusing in particular: (i) the importance of language both to the world in general and to us personally; (ii) some key issues from the last twelve months, and the extent to which people have been having the same arguments about language for decades – even centuries; (iii) debates surrounding 'correctness' in English use; (iv) the history and development of Standard English; and (v) the arguments for having Standard English, and the reason there is so much deviation from that standard.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Clayton, D. (2022, April 11). Topical Language Issues - Debates in Language Use: Why Do They Matter? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Clayton, D. "Topical Language Issues – Debates in Language Use: Why Do They Matter?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,


Mr Dan Clayton

Mr Dan Clayton

Independent Scholar