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Laura Diaz

Educator, Omaha Public Schools

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Do you think certain dialects or accents are stereotyped as less intelligent and if so does it hinder professional career choices?

As time passes, particularly idiomatic phrases tend to shake the classification of slang and fall by the wayside into the realm of "normal." .For example, the expression "Okay" is a slang term originating in 1840. "Okay has traveled the globe and become "acceptable" vernacular world wide. However, the actress Emma Thompson has spoken out against the use of sloppy language and certain accent dialects
saying that people who did not speak properly made her feel "insane". Do you agree?

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  • Mar 11 2014: I think it might depend on the audience quite a bit. There are probably biases among people who have the same dialect that they are hearing. Maybe how the media portrays some of the dialects might be influential since it reaches so many people.
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      Mar 12 2014: Robert, I think that you have made a very good point here.
      When you said that media portrayals may have an influence since it reaches so many people. I considered this, and the thought occurred to me that men with southern or "country" accents are portrayed as foul-mouthed, uneducated, not very smart, racist...you get the idea.
      As for women (with those accents) they are portrayed as air-headed, or racist, and are always sharing some southern colloquialism that is confusing/amusing.
      Interesting.....this also connects in my mind as to how different cultures are portrayed in the media and because of this when most people think of one culture or another they can't help but have a certain media created image in their mind.... very interesting.. thank you for spurring more ideas and socio- connections/implications for me to look into and research. Thanks! :)

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