Making Sense of "Bad English": An Introduction to Language Attitudes and Ideologies

Varieng member Elizabeth Peterson, University of Helsinki, has published a book on attitudes toward varieties of English. Making Sense of “Bad English”: An Introduction to Language Attitudes and Ideologies (Routledge, 2020) is intended as a resource book for students of English linguistics in the global context. The book was created as a result of a course Dr. Peterson has taught for several years to English majors at the University of Helsinki.

Peter Trudgill and Lesley Milroy, both Varieng affiliated scholars, have written endorsements for the book. Professor Trudgill calls the book “endlessy helpful in the fightback again the benighted ones who attempt to shame their fellow human beings for the way they speak.” Professor Milroy writes that the book is “particularly valuable in connecting English speakers from all types of language community.”

The book was officially introduced in a presentation and panel discussion at the University of Helsinki’s Think Corner venue on November 22, 2019. At the event, Dr. Peterson introduced the themes of the book, and, keeping true to the book’s main aims, invited four panelists representing different varieties of English, including two varieties of UK English, a speaker of Guyanese Creole, and a foreign language speaker of English. The panelists discussed issues such as identity and “correctness” through languages, in addition to responding to questions and comments from an audience of students, language professionals, as well as everyday users of English.

The book is available as in hardback, paperback and ebook format from the Routledge website: