« Call for Nominations: Names and Words of the Year | Main | Word of the Week: Scrumpy »

December 05, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Toffee Talk - what a great name! Can you educate them in exchange for goodies? (I've offered my skills with wine lists but haven't been taken up on it ...)

We can probably say that 'tis has taken up a life of its own. Cliche, yes, but so is Santa Claus, presents, and everything else that is 'traditional' about this holiday in the US. 'Tis has become apart of the linguistic symbolism of the season. Acceptable (modern) usage of the term prevents 'tis from being used outside of the Christmas holiday.

However, that isn't 100% true either. You can vary 'Tis to Tis and Tis' and they are all considered equal (as non-elite variations of Christmas English).

The necessity of standardized (elite) variations of English are questionable here, in fact, maybe even detrimental in most cases. The usual rules and norms obviously do not apply. In fact, the question shouldn't be about regulating 'tis to the elite variety of American English. Instead, the question is: How do you set your Christmas culture far enough apart to build its own norms (and be catchy) and still be recognized as part of the Christmas culture? In this light all variation can be helpful, even if it abuses standardized variations of English.

An exception would obviously be places where elite variations of American English are expected at all times (such as, college newsletters, newspapers, academic journals, etc). In such places, standard English is a sign of validity, and thus non-standardized variation is always bad press even if it can set you apart.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
My Photo

My Web Site

Top 25 Language Language Professional Blogs 2014
Top 25 Language Professionals Blogs 2012
Top 25 Language Professionals Blogs 2011
Top 10 Language Professionals Blogs 2010
Top 100 Language Blogs 2009

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Bookmark and Share


Top 25 Language Language Professional Blogs 2014