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Telling porkies about gammon If you're thinking ahead to Paper 2 at the end of the week and wondering about potential case studies to use for the language change question or even for debates about language for Section B, gammon might be a good place to look.
It's one of those words that's been around for a while with one main meaning a kind of smoked ham but it's recently developed a newer and more controversial meaning that's been used online and debated in various newspapers by some of the most high profile columnists and sharpest minds of our generation and Brendan O'Neill from the appalling Spiked Online.
It's a neat example of semantic change, polysemy and debates about the potential of language to cause offence. It also ties in quite nicely with the sample paper on 'literally' and attitudes to language change.
So what does this new type of 'gammon' mean? But it was in that it really took off when it was used to describe a post-Brexit vote phenomenon that many had observed but few had been able to nail so accurately: You might have seen the "wall of gammon" assembled from the faces of Question Time audience members judged to fit the criteria.
So far so good. On the other hand, if that's you, your dad or your Uncle Barry, it might not go down so well.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Commentary writing sample. English Language Commentary - A-Level English - Marked by Pupils receiving their A-level results on Thursday completed the first set of the new “linear” syllabuses, which involve less coursework and a move away from modular exams. Theory and independence. This resource provides guidance on the non-exam assessment (NEA) requirements for A-level English Literature B, and should be read in conjunction with the NEA requirements set out in the specification.
And doesn't that mean that 'gammon' therefore must be a racial slur? That was certainly the argument put forward by the DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly who claimed that 'gammon' was a term 'based on skin colour and age' and therefore a slur that should not be used.
You can read more about it here and about the subsequent debate over the term. Use of the term has spiked in the last few weeks.
And while the original meaning of gammon seems to have been on the decline since its peak in around as the Google n-gram below shows, its more recent meaning has spread far and wide. The number of searches for 'gammon' as an insult or 'gammon' as slang can be tracked through Google Trends and they show a spike in Probably, if these charts are anything to go by.
And that's an interesting case study in itself, because tracing the spread of a new slang term, or an old word that's been given a new meaning, is a fascinating way of looking at what language is and how it works.
But what about the wider debate about gammon as an insult? Is it - as several have claimed - a racist slur? Is it sharp intake of breath as bad as the n-word?
This tweeter thinks not and I'd tend to agree with him. But that's Twitter and people are often very rude on Twitter. I try to stay off it these days and fail most of the time. What about other commentators? And what about the wider language debate about what constitutes a slur?
One accusation is that gammon has been used by left-wingers to attack their political opponents when reasoned argument fails. It sits alongside centrist dad and melt as terms that left-wingers use to abuse those to their right and perhaps equates with the kind of jibes that right-wingers have been chucking at the left for even longer: Matt Zarb-Cousin is one such left-winger and he argues in Huck magazine that it can't be racist as it's directed at a group of people who choose to behave in a certain way.
On the other hand, Lucy Fisher in The Times argues a different line: Whether or not the trope is a statement about race, it is obviously a statement about culture and class.
Gammons are backward, provincial embarrassments. They may be unskilled workers or small business owners or wealthy aristocrats. No debate about politics would be complete without Owen Jones of The Guardian getting a word in.This original writing and commentary was awarded an A* in summer when it was submitted to AQA, I am now sharing it with others in the hope it will be helpful.
The original writing was based on the 'power of persuasion' since it is an OpE 4/4(2). The Module Directory provides information on all taught modules offered by Queen Mary during the academic year The modules are listed alphabetically, and you can search and sort the list by title, key words, academic school, module code and/or semester.
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