Abito linguistico

Appropriateness in language is the same as appropriateness in other walks of life. Take clothing. If you looked into your wardrobe and found there only one suit of clothes, or one dress, how prepared would you feel to face the sartorial demands made upon you by society? No one would be happy if they had only the one option for all types of formal and informal occasion, for different days of the week, or for different functions, such as swimming, gardening, or washing a car. The more types of clothing we have, the better. But having a large and varied wardrobe is only useful if we have developed a ‘clothes sense’.

We know what would happen if we disregarded a dress code on an invitation. We know how we feel if we wear the same clothes two days running – an issue which seems to affect Venus more than Mars, but in principle is applicable to everyone. We know how stupid it would be to use clothes that are totally inappropriate to the situation – or, of course, how daring. None of this is instinct. It is all social learning. And it starts at an early age. Parents let children know it if they dress inappropriately – whether by ignorance or intention. “YOU CHANGE THOSE TROUSERS BEFORE YOU GO ON THAT BIKE!”

Da: David Crystal, The Fight for English, OUP,2008, pgg. 102-103

Postato da: IM

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