Ah, so you did decide to write this piece! I’m glad you did. It’s damn good, and has the benefit of being 100% accurate (in my humble opinion, of course).

I haven’t slid up and down the economic ladder all that much. Been middle class for almost my entire life, save for maybe the first 7 or 8 years when my parents really struggled. But the linguistic patterns you’ve noticed are very similar to the ones I noticed in the different schools I attended. In Catholic school, it was typical suburban language; not terribly refined or verbose, but just slightly fancier than what you’d hear in North Philly or Camden. In private school (high school), it was exclusively bourgeois except for the handful of middle- and working-class kids (myself included) who were there on scholarship or received financial aid. In that school, frequent use of gaudy sentences could mean the difference between an A and a C. And in college (public), it was a mix of every linguistic style you could think of, but mostly straightforward, no-nonsense, working-class chatter.

It really is quite interesting how we seem to instinctively adapt our languages to our circumstances. I also feel like being able to slide from one dialect into another is a very undervalued skill in virtually every arena except for politics. No employer would ever dare ask me if I could do it, and yet the workplace is where it’s been most useful to me.

Anyways, awesome piece, dude! Happy you chose to write it!

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

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