English sublanguages

English is one of the most powerful languages in the world with about 150,000 words. However there has been a creation of sublanguages or genres that frequently use terms that allow you to know about the person. Sub languages like Cop, Lawyer, Doctor are all part of English.

Perhaps the best known sublanguage is English/Cop. Frequently used words like Suspect, pursuit, evidence, apprehend are all part of Cop. You would hear them being used on police radios and other places cops frequently visit.

However interestingly enough there is another sublanguage that cops are a bit fearful of and that is English/Lawyer. They use words like judgment, ruling, affidavit, subpoena, settlement, victim and retainer. You would hear this sublanguage around courts and you know you are around lawyers. So in a way cops must do what lawyers say.

Yet another sublanguage is English/Doctor. They use words like robust, specimen, examination, injection, surgery along with medical terms of body parts like renal, buttocks and so on. Doctor is mostly spoken around medical facilities.

In the American Midwest they speak English/Tornado. Terms like storm track, debris, wedge, stovepipe, multi vortex, violent and RUN are all spoken. This is all about knowing if you will come home to a house or kindling wood.

In English/Engineer words like specification, strength, structure, CAD, interference, test, material are all used regularly.

In English/Banker terms like interest, yield, hedge fund, deposit, account and overdraft are common terms.

There are other sublanguages all across the country like Street, Baseball, Football, Jock, Mechanic, Plumber, Pilot and so on. but the interesting thing is collectively they all are English.

On the other end of the scale there is the King’s English. This is all about showing off how smart you are by using less common words that require a dictionary and thesaurus to know the meaning. Most people use between 6000 and 12000 words, so the other 140,000 words are King’s English. But in the end there is no right or wrong word to use.

Also there are very powerful words that have many different meanings depending on the context of the sentence. For example the word ‘Fuck’ has 26 different meanings. So with powerful words like that, who needs the King’s English and that huge vocabulary anyway. Also the word Fuck was once labeled a swear word despite it likely being the most commonly used word. Now it only upsets people who are overtly politically correct witch itself is its own sublanguage.

If you speak English/Politically correct, you hunt for kind and soft words that leave people guessing what you really mean. Fortunately Politically correct seems to be on its way out now thanks to Donald Trump.

So in the end, you will find yourself slipping into one sublanguage or another, and it also does not matter what words you use because they are all protected under the First Amendment in the United States.


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