National Writing Project

There Just Ain’t No Wrong Or Right Way To Talk

Publication: Bristol Herald Courier
Date: June 11, 2009

Summary: This newspaper column features Amy Clark, director of the Appalachian Writing Project, which recently won a $4,000 grant from the National Writing Project to study language patterns at public schools in southwestern Virginia.

 

Excerpt from Article

An associate professor of English at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, Clark studies the role of language in society. She dissects dialects. And, on a recent spring day, I sat in one of her classes, discussing the differences in what you would hear at a Wise County coal camp and a fishing village along the Chesapeake Bay.

Clark, the director of the Appalachian Writing Project, recently won a $4,000 grant from the National Writing Project to lead a team of teachers studying language patterns at public schools in Bristol, Wise and Big Stone Gap.

What's formal? What's informal? Words like "kinfolk" and "haint" may be unrecognizable in some parts of the country, Clark said, but they are part of standard talk in others.

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Read There Just 'Ain't No' Wrong Or Right Way To Talk in the Bristol Herald Courier.

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