328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter Ten: "The
Nineteenth Century and After"
jargon, acronym, alphabetism, OED, folk etymology, historical
dictionary, compounding, neologism, blends, portmanteau
words, eponym, semantics, linguistic generalization, specialization,
pejoration, amelioration, slang, class dialect, geographic
or regional dialect, caste dialect, calque, black vernacular,
RP, rhoticism, diminutive, pidgin, creole, subjunctive mood,
abbreviations: RP, OED
What effect did the first cheap newspapers (1816), cheap
postage (1840), and improved means of travel and communication
have on the spread of standardized speech?
In terms of vocabulary, what field of human knowledge has
added even more new vocabulary to English than the regional
variations of England's many colonies?
Periods of great enterprise and activity tend to be accompanied
by what, linguistically?
10.212 Provide any three examples of a
technological, medical, or scientific word that did not
enter English until after 1850.
10.213 What are some new verbs that have
come into being because of the automobile's influence on
Provide any example of an older radio broadcasting term
being adjusted or altered for use in television broadcasting.
Common computer lore claims that the word "bug"
(meaning a computer problem) originates with an actual insect
that climbed inside the Mark II computer. What is the problem,
linguistically, for making this claim, given the evidence
gathered in the OED?
Explain the similar problem in folk etymologies that state
the word "crap" comes from Thomas Crapper, the
inventor of the toilet, or people who claim that the curse
word F--k is an acronym for "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,"
or the idea that the word "posh" goes back to
a shipping acronym?]
The term "slacker" is quite popular among youth
today. Where and when did the term "slacker" originate?
The term "blitz" (used frequently in football)
comes from what German term associated with World War II?
10.215 How is language a mirror of social
progress in terms of technology? In terms of social movements?
10.216 Unsurprisingly, what has English
continued to do in the 19th and 20th centuries that it had
done in earlier centuries?
In the modern period, what sort of vocabulary has been
adopted in the American Southwest? (i.e, what language has
been a source of loanwords there in particular?)
10.217 In addition to loanwords from foreign
languages, what has been a second source of new words in
English in the 19th and 20th centuries? How is this reminiscent
of Old English poetry? What betrays these words' origin
as coming from two words?
10.218 Many new scientific terms have
been formed in Modern English by compounding roots from
what two classical languages? Provide an example.
10.219 How have Latin and Greek prefixes
and suffixes been useful in forming new words? Provide an
10.220 Many 20th century neologisms come
from brand-names. Provide an example.
What is a blend? Why are most blends unlikely to survive
in later years? (i.e., what tends to happen to the novelty
of a blend when it passed about at a secondary level after
the original creator makes it up?)
10.221 What is an eponym? Provide an example.
10.222 When English speakers need a word
with a new technical sense, what do they often do with an
older word--such as a radiator or a skyline?
10.223 Why are journalists particularly
likely to create new words when they write, according to
Baugh? Why is this especially likely
in the case of sports writers?
10.224 What is semantics?
Baugh calls this "extension of meaning," but
other scholars like Algeo call it "linguistic generalization."
What is this process? Provide an example.
Baugh calls this "narrowing of meaning," or "restricted
sense," but other scholars like Algeo call it "linguistic
specialization." What is this process? Provide an example.
Baugh calls this process, "degeneration," but
most scholars call it "linguistic pejoration."
What is this process? Provide an example.
Baugh calls this process, "regeneration," but
most scholars call it "linguisti amelioration."
What is this process? Provide an example?
Various terms for women's undergarments have appeared and
vanished in rapid succession over the last 200 years. Why
does Baugh suggest that word "bra," "panties,"
and "slip," are more likely to last than previous
Words like budge, coax, nonplus,
shabby, squabble, stingy, touchy,
wobbly, snob, and sham were all
once considered inappropriate slang terms. What happened
tothem over time?
10.225 What is slang?
What do the words joke, fad, slump,
put down, and nerd have in common?
10.226 What is the "spoken standard"
What is the "written standard" of English?
What is the "popular" or "illiterate standard"
of English? What is illiterate
English generally rich in? What is it especially sympathetic
What two explanations does Baugh provide for why written
and spoken standards of English have been growing colser
together in quality?
If we judge levels of English according to how well they
express ideas clearly and effectively, what are we forced
What social drawbacks or negative attitudes are associated
with non-standard dialects? Do most modern linguists think
these negative attitudes are justified or reasonable?
10.227 What is RP?
Why does Baugh think English speakers must cultivate a
cosmopolitan attitude toward a variety of regional standard
forms of English?
10.228 What are regional dialects? Why
are the differences in dialects in Great Britain so much
more "pronounced" than the differences of dialects
in America or Australia?
If we get technical in our linguistics, according to Baugh,
how many dialects can scholars identify within the boundaries
of a single shire in Britain?
Robert Burns and his poetry is illustrative of what dialect
or region in Britain?
What was "stage Irish" in the eighteenth-century?
What was its purpose?
What are some of the differences in Irish English in contrast
The ending -een indicates what in Irish dialects?
What do Irish dialects tend to use instead of the present
perfect and past perfect tenses of English?
What do Irish dialects tend to use instead of the preposition
"for" when it comes to the meaning "for the
What is unusual about the Irish use of "Anyone"?
Why is Australian English so uniform? Why didn't it split
into numberous regional dialects?
List one unusual (by American standards) vocabulary term
in South African English.
[Baugh provides a long list of regional vocabulary for
English in West Africa, East Africa, and Hong Kong. Skim
through this material, but we will not focus on it in class
discussion or on the final examination.]
How do the national educational policies in Malaysia for
Malaysian English and Hong Kong for Hong Kong English illustrate
the problems and difficulties of maintaining a regional
identity when faced with linguistic globalization?
What in general characterizes Canadian attitudes to loanwords
from American English an other Americanisms?
10.230 Why are pidgins and creoles often
lexically impoverished? How does this result in periphrastic
constructions to convey simple ideas?
How is the analytic nature of a creole comparable to the
analytic nature of Middle English?
What does Baugh mean by the basilect, acrolect, and mesolect?
List any single organization or movement that tried to
reform spelling between 1837-1931. How has the public generally
responded to efforts to improve or reform standardized spellings?
What position did Henry Bradley take regarding this issue
in "On the Relation of Spoken and Written Language"?
How are purists inclined to see any change in language?
What is the S.P.E.? How long did it last, approximately?
What does the existence of organizations like hte S.P.E.
or the proposed "International Council for English"
indicate about the desires of at least some English-speakers?
Normally, what happens when one group tries to reform the
language, prescribe grammatical usage, change spellings,
or dictate a "standard" of speech? (i.e., how
successful are these efforts normally?)
In the 1970s, the effort to eliminate what in English speech
has been surprisingly successful?
What is an epicene pronoun?
The increasing trend is to use the word "their"
as the possessive pronoun for an individual of indeterminate
sex or for generic words. Why is this problematic in terms
of traditional grammar?
Given the past history of English pronouns borrowed from
Old Norse, why is it unlikely that a new pronoun will be
added to English to represent individuals of indeterminate
What does the acronym OED mean?
What is a historical dictionary or a dictionary based on
How did the Philological Society of London bring about
the Oxford English Dictionary?
What were the two principle aims of the OED?
How many million "slips" containing sample quotations
of words were mailed to the editors of the OED?
What important organization was found in 1864 to provide
funding for the OED project? Hint: It's not the Philological
Society of London.
This organization has printed more than 400 volumes of
The second edition of the OED contains approximately how
many words? (You can round up to the nearest 100,000).
[Lecture: Why does
your teacher think this organization founded in 1864 is
10.235 What factors have lead to greater
stability in the English language in the last 200 years?
When did the substitution of "you were" (as opposed
to "you was") in the singular occurs about when?
What has happened to the predicate nominative use of "It
is I," so common in Shakespeare's day?
What has mostly happened to the subjunctive mood in the
last 200 years?
Why has the get-passive (i.e., "he got caught")
come into existence?
10.236 How can verb-adverb combinations
result in specialized or idiomatic meanings for a verb?
Provide one example of a modern verb that changes its meaning
with an adverb attached.
10.237 What does Baugh mean by his "liberal
creed" toward the end of chapter ten?