Blog of Sara Jakša

The Care for Language

One thing that has always bothered me is the amount of focus that people in Slovenia put on the way other people say things. Either they spend way too much time on trying to figure out, where the person is from, or they count the number of fillers that the person uses or simply criticize the use of language. I remember one time, when somebody pissed me off. And after the walk did not help with anger, I wrote a very long angry email, explaining all the reasons why that person was in the wrong. And then she apparently forwarded this to a couple of our mutual acquaintances. How do I know that? Well, there were multiple people that came to be, telling me that they agree with me, and that they found some linguistic mistakes in that text. Like these two were on the equivalent level.

The difference can also be seen in some similar contexts. I have now attended Toastmasters meetings in multiple countries. We are the one, that puts the most emphasis on the grammarian. We not only give it twice a longer time, they are much more likely to deal with small stuff. Some of them can feel like listing of all the mistakes (and in some rare cases good examples of the phrases). On the other hand, I liked the things in Germany, where the grammarian usually concentrated on the biggest mistake most people made and then tried to explain some alternatives.

Also, unlike the English-speaking countries, where they know when it is time to use formal language and when people can use other forms, it seems that in Slovenia, there is a tendency to expect people to always use the formal language. We have Facebook pages dedicated to the more frequent use of rodilnik (one of the cases), which is one of the Slovenian cases, in everyday life.

Apparently, the French are similar to us. They also put a lot of emphasis on the language. But I am not like that. I much prefer the more linguistic oriented definition: if a natural speaker would say it like that, then it is right.