Re: [OT] Yet Another Language Issue (wa: imap with claws mail problem)
On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:42:48 +0100
Lisi <firstname.lastname@example.org> dijo:
>On Tuesday 11 October 2011 18:32:02 Dom wrote:
>> In this part of England (South East, just a little North of London),
>> "dunno" is common. I would even use it myself sometimes.
>But would you write it? If so, perhaps it is an age thing. Are you
It is more involved than that.
Speakers of all human language use different registers in different
situations, both in the spoken and the written language. Think of how
differently you speak to a professor at your university and the way you
speak when alone with your best friend. There are many, many different
registers, some of which vary only slightly from each other.
Sometimes there is also a sociolinguistic effect. One example might be
where speakers use different forms of language to maintain distance or
closeness. If you speak Spanish, think of how speakers of some
dialects use tú, vos and usted in various extremely complex social
alternations. For example, once while in Panama I overhead the
conversation of a married couple, where they switched between tú and
vos, the latter when annoyed, but they used usted with the ticket agent
they were talking to.
I speak Spanish (mostly north-central Mexico) and English (mostly
western U.S.). When speaking Spanish the [d] intervocalically just
about disappears, and when it is part of a grammatical suffix like
-ado, it is completely gone. But when writing I still write the d,
e.g., 'pasado.' Having said that, if I am speaking Spanish in an
address to a large audience, I pronounce the [d] more forcefully.
As for the English 'dunno,' it is an attempt at using the lame
orthography of English to describe the pronunciation in rapid speech,
which is [dǝ'now], not [downt now]. It is perfectly acceptable in
informal writing such as is common here. It would be completely
unacceptable in an academic paper. You won't find it even in
newspapers, the lowest bastion of stylistic correctness.
One thing is clear, however. Writing 'don't know' is always acceptable.
'Dunno' may be acceptable, but if you use it inappropriately for the
register you are in, it will look bad, possibly even mildly offensive.