Language is not the only means of communication between people, but it is the most important. It tells us where the other person is from – what country? Which region? And which social class? What are their scores in play online blackjack?
That is why more and more people are deliberately manipulating their choice of words to appear more educated on the job and thus climb the career ladder more quickly.
But the mother tongue also shapes the child’s grammar, phonics, and word choice. For this reason, it allows conclusions about the speaker’s social class of origin. While it is certainly possible to break out of a social class through the appropriate education, which is evident through improved vocabulary and language use, this is unfortunately rarely the case due to educational disadvantage.
Educational disadvantage is the effect of people with the lower social and financial status being disadvantaged in acquiring education, making it more difficult to move up into a better social class. In addition, factors such as a person’s gender or cultural resources can also lead to their educational disadvantage.
Certainly, we in Western Europe are further along than many countries regarding equal opportunity. Nevertheless, the French sociologists Bourdieu and Passeron identified the following results in their studies in the 1960s: Children from socially worse classes already show differences in language development at the age of two compared to their peers from higher social classes.
Thus, success at school is directly related to the child’s language competence and, thus, to their social class of origin. It is clear that this also impacts the child’s later career. In most cases, children born into the lower class remain in, the lower class throughout their lives, and the same can be observed in the middle and upper classes. Exceptions confirm the rule.
For example, respondents from the lower social classes mentioned ambitious, sociable, friendly or polite.
Those from a better social class, on the other hand, listed honest, orderly, vigorous and healthy.
This proves the differences in language use according to social background. So not only does the vocabulary itself differ, but the social classes also ascribe different meanings to some terms.
Language manipulation for more success?
So, if a person’s language is related to his or her origin on the one hand, and on the other hand, it can influence his or her success in professional life, either favorably or unfavorably.
Style is a word that divides minds. Many of you will now think of fashion and tastes are known to differ. Moreover, there is a swimming style or architectural style. So how is style supposed to be related to language and how do we know which word choice is “stylish” and which is not? The different meanings of style are broad and applicable to language as well. So, today we will be concerned with the following definition of style:
“The term “style” comes from the Latin “stilus”, the writing utensil, and originally referred to a person’s individual idiosyncrasy in writing – be it with regard to his handwriting or even his mode of expression and choice of words. In the context of language, therefore, style is understood as the characteristics of a written or spoken word, sentence or text that make it unique. So your language style is nothing more than your individual way of using language, forming sentences, and choosing words.”
In principle, style is a neutral, i.e., value-free, term. Nevertheless, in the meantime, under “stylish,” a positive association is made, and under “silent,” a negative one. In our case, “stylish” language is attributed to the social upper class, and “stillless” language to the social lower class. Modern language thus suggests a better social background and increases your career chances in the mechanism already described.