Sidetracked

20 June 2017

When learning English, just as in other languages, there is a point where you have to commit to a specific accent/dialect. None of them are intrinsically more “correct” then the other, even though CNN/BBC English are often considered the gold standard.

Fools. Never fall for the obvious option. It’s a trap!

I’ve been listening to a lot of grime music lately, which is, inaccurately, aggressive hiphop from North/East London. And I absolutely love it for it’s language. Not only is the foundation British, there’s a lot of particulars around, often (or off’en?) exaggerated for effect. I’m currently listening a lot to Roll Deep (and before Kano, Dizzee Rascal,..). And I absolutely their love of vernacular. There’s absolutely no doubt it’s all highly intentional. Wu Tang does it the other way around: relishing in quite complicated rap with an extremely rich vocabulary.

I guess there’s two paths you can take. You could specialize in one very specif subset of a language, and try to become an expert at it. This will usually mean whatever is spoken on national TV. Or you could cast your net as wide as possible, picking up bits and bobs from everywhere, and never being able to use most of it actively. Because using a specific vernacular out of context is usually a long ting.

Long ting: London slang for a boring, uninteresting thing.

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