Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 20:00:48 CDT


Subject: Dialectics of Dialect

Someone posted a query about the "dialectical" options in this frame:

In rain those bricks are slicker than _______!

The dialectics of dialect are a powerful force in any culture, with the

various kinds of social and personal competition between and among

individuals and groups that speak dialects.

Dictionaries list both 'dialectal' and 'dialectical' as adjectival forms

of 'dialect'. But one who has thought much about dialectics and dialect

might develop a predictable preference for one adjective over the other.

Now, if the frame had offered a choice between "slicker than" and "more

slippery than," some interesting dialectical tension might enter the

picture. There is regional distribution of slick/slippery; I can't recall

specifics, but that's not my point. For me, some things can be slick but

others would be slippery, depending on how one interacts with them.

Was Tricky Dick slick or slippery? Is Slick Willy slippery in some ways?

These aren't serious questions, just idle examples, you understand.