Natural language and Standard English can differ largely for obvious reasons. I grew up in a small town with a population of just 2,000 people. Most of the members of this small community were farmers and/or small business owners. For the most part, not many residents of this town have college degrees or an education past a high school diploma. Many would consider this part of the country “rednecks”. Though not necessarily from the south, we are Midwesterners and though Kansas City is close, my hometown is about an hour northeast. I grew up in more of rural/suburban community, much different than Kansas City which has become a very urban environment. I have had a lot of people have say I have a “twang” to my accent. I don’t necessarily hear it in my own voice, but when I visit home, I do recognize it in others, primarily when walking through the local grocery store or at the filling station.
Through education and being well traveled (I was a flight attendant for 4 years), I think I have changed the way I talk. This past holiday, I went back and visited my home town. I did notice a lot of improper grammar being used and letters left off of the ending of words. It became somewhat irritating to me to hear my relatives and old friends talk so unintelligently. Hearing my sister say, “I ain’t got no wrappin’ paper” or my mom tell my dad she’s “got to go to the Wal-Marts to get some things” really just made my skin crawl.
I’m sure that at some point in time, I likely, spoke the same and thought nothing about it and I do have to admit that there are times I have caught myself inserting the work “like” 20 times more than needed. Those are the simple examples of natural language; I have since learned and have changed my manner of speaking due to my new everyday environment. Standard English is far different from this; it can’t be learned by simply being around other people, but instead it must be taught exclusively. Words, phrases, and the way humans speak to one another initiates through our first caregivers and the people we are raised around.