On May 2nd on the Everyday Feminism site, “Why Grammar Snobbery Has No Place in the Movement” by Melissa A. Fabello, presenting the customary linguists’ arguments that non-standard, regional, informal, etc. variants are not failed attempts to produce the formal written standard variety, but are instead features of alternative linguistic systems, each appropriate to certain social contexts — and moving on from that linguistic point to the wider sociopolitical point that these features should not be used as weapons against those who customarily employ the features; they are not failed citizens because they deviate from the use of formal standard written features in all contexts.

Fabello goes on to quote a moving poem by Aysha Syed on the matter.

(Hat tip to Ann Burlingham.)

I’ve paraphrased Fabello’s piece in relatively neutral terms here, rather than quoting her own more strongly worded and passionate posting, because at the moment the Everyday Feminism site is unavailable; connections to it time out. (It worked fine a week or so ago.)

The Diaspora Defiance site, where Aysha Syed’s poem “broken english” (as well as other poems in a similar vein) is to be found, is working just fine, however. This poem, from 1/21/14:

broken english

when my mother struggles to spell a word in english
I want to break the entire language
into little pieces
so the edges of these letters
will stop cutting her

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