Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 20:00:48 CDT
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU
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.