Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 11:36:59 -0800
From: Peter Richardson prichard[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: vernacular
I took up Ellen Johnson's request the other day, asking my students via
email to send me their definitions of _vernacular_ without having
consulted a dictionary. About 1/2 the class did so, or at least said that
they didn't know what it meant. The results, which don't include (unsent)
contributions from some who I'm sure do have a workable and believable
definition at hand:
Seven students had no idea what it meant.
Quotes from the rest:
I think the word vernacular means to understand something very well.
It reminds me of varnish or shellac--something associated with pottery
that makes it shiny or something like that.
I think that this word is used to describe how words are vocally
A clear sound or voice. A tone that is pleasing to the ear.
Used interchangeably with _jargon_
I've heard it in the following context: "In a vernacular sense"
I send this not as an "O tempora, o morons" plaint, but as a simple
contribution to Ellen's article.