Sociolinguistic Issues in the movie version of G.B.Shaw's
Handout for LING 057, Language and Popular Culture
Who says what to whom?
- Politeness and address: how do various characters address each
- Use of forms like Cap'n and Gov'nor
Are these used with a name, e.g. `Cap'n Higgins'?
- Use of titles such as Sir, Colonel, Ma'am, Miss
- No-naming, i.e. avoidance of
name and title.
- First-name only? Why are Eliza and "Freddie" the only people
addressed by first name only?
- Last name only: who uses this
reciprocally, and who doesn't?
("I say, Pickering...")
- Title and Last-name, e.g. "Col. Pickering", "Miss Doolittle",
"Mr. Higgins; Prof.(?) Higgins." (How does Mrs. Pierce address Higgins?)
- How about terms (used by women only?) such as "my dear"?
- Compare this with terms used in Phila. by working-class women,
such as on
the food carts, with men's usage:
"hon', honey, dear, babe"
- used by men: "buddy, pal, boss, Sir(?)"
- What is the cross-gender
usage--do women call other women 'Babe', or `boss'? Do men call each
other 'babe', or call women 'boss'? What happens if a man calls a woman 'Babe'?
- Other issues?
- Reciprocity in address: do
formulae, or is it one-way only? Is reciprocity only common within
a particular 'class' or does it cross class boundaries?
- Are there metanymic issues? What is suggested by the name
- Why is Freddie called "Freddie" i.e. why is a diminutive
term used? Is it a class thing? (King George VI was known as
his family; his brother Edward VIII was known as David.) Or because he's
such a 'twit'? What is
the usage among British upper classes for this kind of thing, and where do
they learn it?