Analysis Of Oliver Kamm's Our Language

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In “Our Language,” Oliver Kamm expresses his dissatisfaction with modern day pedants, who claim that people who apply the English language in a way that is different from the pedants’ idea of “Standard English” are incorrect. In 2008, Kamm, a British journalist and writer, became a leader writer and columnist for The Times, writing two weekly columns and acting as the newspaper’s editorial writer on economics, international affairs and culture (Authors, n.d.). Kamm studied at Oxford University, where he obtained a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics, and went on to achieve a master’s degree in politics at London University (O. Kamm, personal communication, December 7, 2015). He started his career off in the financial sector, and also…show more content…
Kamm explains how critics are judging people’s use of the English language unjustly and how he disagrees with this. He describes how people grow up speaking a certain way by instinct and observation, similar to scholarly linguists, rather than by using stylistic conventions, as pedants would. Kamm expresses his disagreement with pedantry, which, in his opinion, is a discourteous act of misconception and should instead be replaced with general usage of the language. He claims that people should get rid of the idea that Standard English is the only correct form of English and in the process achieve social and linguistic…show more content…
In his sentence he states that this is something “we are told”, but fails to provide evidence as to who tells us this. It is clear that Kamm is attempting to overstate the situation in order to provide himself with something to back up his point of view, while lacking clear facts to support his claims. Kamm’s overuse of opinion is highly evident in his article. When he asks “does anyone doubt that our mother tongue is in deep decline?” he immediately answers with “well, for one, I do.” He does not deliver statistics as to the number of other people who agree with that statement, but instead relies solely on his own judgement. Kamm’s article is also abundant with logical fallacies. The title “Our Language” is itself a sweeping generalization, as not everyone reading this article can relate in terms of the language described, that being English, and so it is not necessarily “our” language. In his article, Kamm tries to prove his point that people do not need specific rules to be invoked in order to speak properly, and instead can just rely on their own instincts. In doing so, Kamm, once again, uses sweeping generalization by saying “we all have the instinct,” when that is not essentially true. Kamm uses phrases like “we should be entirely relaxed” or “why worry,” while discussing different choices in grammar, in order to downplay
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