#里茲螞蟻批判性思考寫作專欄 #Alex專欄 #外師每週精選閱讀
Back to our favourite topic of English learning, this time we have an ‘authority’ on the usage of the language: Sue Butler, an ex-editor of an English dictionary. As the title of the article suggests, perhaps ironically, this authority has her own opinion about what matters as regards ‘correct’ English, and what she sees as “always worth calling out”. Inconsistencies are immediately apparent in her opinions though, as she sees some incorrect uses as totally unacceptable, such as her inability to abide by the use of ‘infamous’ when the intended meaning is ‘famous’, which she labels as a “straight-out error”. But then, contradictorily, she sees the use of the noun ‘agenda’ as a verb as being an “innovation” that conservative pedants (apparently not including herself) are unable to accept because they are not open-minded enough. Is this apparent incongruence a demonstration of hypocrisy or just too subjective a view of the language?
No doubt the author recognises the fact that the English language is not universally standardised or eternally unchanging, and even within one dialect, the meaning, spelling, pronunciation and usage are not set in stone, as all can and do frequently vary between groups and individuals. However, the elephant in the room that she does not allude to is that there are now far more speakers of English who learn it as their second or foreign language than there are native speakers of English, and this exerts very strong pressures on the changes occurring in the language. Because of the constant evolution of the language, and the geographical, cultural and generational boundaries between English speakers, no one person or resource could ever have been a complete authority on the tongue anyway, but now there are hundreds of millions more English users who add to this linguistic melting pot, not to mention the amplifying effects of the internet.
The takeaway from all this – and by ‘takeaway’ I do not mean the food you order and take away from a restaurant as it means in parts of the English-speaking world besides America, where it can mean the gist of a speech or discussion – is that if you are learning English, you should learn from many sources. Do not rely on one English ‘guru’ or self-proclaimed English ‘authority’ because no single person can possibly have experience or knowledge of all the different varieties of English that are currently used. Some resources and teachers are certainly more reliable and knowledgeable than others, but as with all learning, you should approach your studies with an open mind, and be realistic in your understanding of what a language actually is.
上面的貼文內容是我們的實力派外師Alex，針對每週一篇英文文章閱讀後，親自寫出的批判性思考文（不是copy & paste的東西啊）。旨在讓同學知道如何用不同的角度來讀文章。你可以選擇先讀Alex寫的批判文，也可以選擇先讀本次的英文文章連結，但最好兩處都要閱讀才能達到最好的效果。
Alex是我們的御用老師，每週都會幫梅姨、托托、慕華上英文課。目前星期一晚上有開一班 #里茲螞蟻外師應用英文課程 ，程度高級，充滿知識性與深度。有開放單次付費上課。若你想學習用英文來深度探討各項主題，check it out！