Linguistic Commons

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The linguistic commons are the total linguistic artifacts created by humanity: dialects, languages, accents and so on.

Language Enclosure

Trademarks, copyright, branding, the legal system and socio-cultural pressures have helped enclose language for private benefit.

Dictionaries, thesauruses and other "official" documentations of language attempt to standardize. They're backed by a variety of powerful institutions, often private, that set the prevailing beliefs about spelling, pronunciation, word meanings and grammar. Descriptivist and even some prescriptivist linguists, among others, see this as a subtle cultural capture or imperialism. #[1] #[2]

The predominate dialect of English in America is called, Standard American. It's grammar, spelling, and pronunciations are mostly drawn from the post mid-century (20th), white, Mid-Western, middle-class dialect. Standard American does draw from other socio-economic-cultural influences. But use of other dialects (or accents) in mainstream cultural channels, is largely frown upon. #[3] #[4]

This disproportionally effects the working class and color minorities. Use of non-standard dialectical and grammatical rules can effectively exclude participation in mainstream venues.

Legalese and trademarks use state power to enforce penalties around language use.

Programming Languages

Standardization, enclosure and prescriptivism effect natural languages as well as constructed ones. In computer programming languages, the Lisp language has Common Lisp, and Arc Lisp, a anti-standard variant.

Computer jargon or values compressive beauty; simplistic brevity. This is similar to slang words in natural languages


Notions of a national "standard" language grew along with the power of the nation-state. #[5] #[6]


If trends of relocalization and regionalization hold out, the cultural reorganization will extend to the domain of language. A flourishing of sociolects, idiolects and local slang will thrive along with a less dominating standard English. #[7]

In the primitivist world, E-Primitive is a variant of English that emphasizes dynamic over static thinking. It does this partly by replacing noun-based thoughts with verb-based ones. #[8]

Urban dictionary, is a website documenting slang, new phrases, dialects and pronunciations among other things. #[9]