The charm of class discussion is that through brainstorming and collision of thoughts, we are able to quickly make connections with the knowledge and its reference; moreover, when you have time for reflection, it will lead your mind to wander even further from the topic.
The discussion about mutual intelligibility was an interesting one. Linguists use this criterion to determine whether people are speaking the same language. In real life, however, things seem to be much more complicated. When you speak to a Scot, as mentioned by my classmates, it is often not very easy to reach the sort of mutual intelligibility. I’ve made several acquaintances with some Scottish friends and couldn’t agree more. However, there is a fine line between the two terms ‘Scottish accent’ and ‘Scots language’.
Actually, many Scots speakers separate Scots and Scottish English as different register depending on social circumstances. Some speakers code switch clearly from one to the other while others style shift in a less predictable and more fluctuating manner.
That being said, Scottish English is regarded far from being a standard form of English by most of the English language speakers (excluding the Scots). So what kind of English is standard? Many people may then refer to the Queen’s English (actually Received Pronunciation is a less misleading term). This phrase came into use some time in the 16th century. “Queen’s English” is found in Nash’s “Strange Newes of the Intercepting Certaine Letters” in 1593. However, the Queen, in reality, speaks an almost unique form of English. On the other hand, RP is an accent, not a dialect, since all RP speakers speak Standard English. In other words, they avoid non-standard grammatical constructions and localized vocabulary characteristic of regional dialects. RP is also regionally non-specific, which means it does not contain any clues about a speaker’s geographic background. But it does reveal a great deal about their social and/or educational background.
And this explanation makes it even more interesting. So the way you speak a same language does imply your social status, educational background and even more. But isn’t it somewhat politically incorrect in this era?
I would like to quote from Carlyle on this topic of discussion, “words will harden into things for us.” Words are not themselves a reality, but only representations of it. But still, perhaps it is just worthwhile to try to speak a standard form of English and sound like Stephen Fry or Carey Mulligan?
Henry F. (1979). Pub Talk and The King’s English. the Washington Post. retried from https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1979/04/08/pub-talk-and-the-kings-english/ed9f9ee5-d81a-4ee2-9c90-504aab0efc81/?utm_term=.e6ba3d24e354