Communication and Language: Discussing “Mother Tongue” & “Talk about Editing” Your Name Due Date Communication and Language: Discussing “Mother Tongue” & “Talk about Editing” Communication is essential for almost all living things; it lets us warn others of danger, share experiences, express feelings, and opinions…
Here in the United States when someone does not speak English well or speaks a broken version of the language many tend to think less, enforce stereotypes, and not take them as seriously. The two essays “Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan, and “Talk about Editing,” by David Shipley do not have very much in common. They are both relevant and important but approach communication from two completely different sides. Tan’s work is a serious discussion about the way people perceived her as a young Asian American and how her mother is treated for her broken English. She gives multiple examples at how differently her mother’s business would be handled when she pretended to be her mother on the telephone as opposed to how they, generally, treated her mother. She mentions being discouraged by teachers not to pursue writing; it was suggested she enter the math or sciences. She understood that this was a stereotype in action; people of Asian descent are naturally good at math and science, but seldom good at English or writing. (Tan 270-?) However, of course she became a writer despite their views. However, one can appreciate the hard ship that her mother went through. Also, she touches on the important subject of how people speak differently within different environments. There is some truth to this. There are actually a number of English dialects, slang, and regional terms being used that mean little outside of that region. That said, the language used and words chosen differ when we talk to friends, teachers, parents, and employers. These language issues should not be allowed to ever overshadow the value of a person or of the information they hope to share. The Amy Tan essay speaks to the perception a woman watching her mother struggle with this issue and the ways that the outside world reacts to it. Her desire to defy the stereotypes that were presented and continue to pursue her goal is inspiring. In her case she is asking for the poor words her mother uses, as with all immigrants working to learn a new and difficult language, to not mean more the intention, wisdom, or meaning behind each of them, perfectly spoken or not The second essay, “Talking about Editing” is a much more structured essay explaining the point, purpose, and function of an editor. Apparently people have an impression that editors make harsh and often uncomplimentary choices in a writer’s work and have overall say in the perception or vision of the actual work (Shipley 303-?). In fact, the author of any work has the final say in the final work that they will put their name one. According to experts good editors, should always be able to pick up on the grammatical errors, typos, and spelling mistakes, but never to make an overall judgment of the artistic or scholarly work. Their responses to the writer’s work should always be suggestions and never demands (Rafter). However as we move into the ever-changing and technological futures the value of writing and reading may be slipping away. In discussing these two essays there is an interesting irony present. If Amy Tan did not speak or write in fine and proper English, would a publisher consider her work, would an editor even bother? If it is the errors in the writing that makes the writing unique then correcting it would eliminate that quality. Editors are trained and bound to make certain that all of the rules of the English language ...
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