Video is a teacher talking to a classroom of deaf students.
Teacher: I want to talk about language today. When a child is born, what is the first thing the parents hear in the hospital?
Student: “Your child failed the hearing test.”
Teacher: Right. A baby is five hours old and he’s failed something already? What about the term “hearing loss”? What does that word evoke?
Student: Hearing is the norm. Deaf is less than. Lacking.
Teacher: Are we “less than”? Do you believe being deaf has taken away or added to your life? If someone invented a pill you could take it tonight and you would wake up hearing how many of you would take it? *looks around the room* None of you. Why not?
Student: Because being deaf gives you friends anywhere you go.
Student: And a way of seeing the world that’s different from anyone else.
Student: Hearing kids don’t know who they are. We do. We’re deaf: first, last, always.
Student: Hearing people think they have more than us…their lives are better. We have it so “hard.” But I’d never give up being deaf to be like anyone else. Never.
Teacher: Not hearing loss. Deaf gain.
Note: Please keep this transcript when you reblog this so that blind people (blind people use screen readers) are able to know what the video was talking about.
This is actually from a TV Show called Switched At Birth, which is an ABC Family show, in which two girls were switched at birth. One girl is completely deaf, and the other is not. It’s an amazing show, and one episode was completely silent, except for backing music or sound effects. It was the first time in history, and everyone should watch the show.
What’s particularly interesting about the example sentence is that the starred example (1b) is now acceptable under certaincircumstances. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the doge meme has fundamentally changed how English treats countable and uncountable(mass) nouns and the many-much distinction, but I do suggest that the use (or misuse) of many-much now has a particular socio-pragmatic meaning. Instead of the phrase “much dog” being viewed as incorrect or unacceptable as an English phrase, it is now recognized as being acceptable in a particular memetic context. We identify this construction not as a mistake but as a particular joke, referring to that ubiquitous shiba inu.
One way to test how this change is and isn’t affecting English is to consider this hypothetical situation. If you are approached by someone you are CERTAIN has not been on the internet or heard of this meme, how would you react to their utterance “Much dog”? I suspect that your first reaction would be that this person has made a mistake, and meant “many dogs”. The sociolinguistic context excludes the use of the meme, so you take the person’s utterance seriously — you assume they are using English in the way it is used when not referring to this meme.
What this might demonstrate is that the meme is not changing English, but rather adding to the memetic jokes available. That is, the much-many distinction is still as strong as ever, but we use the misuse of that distinction to directly evoke a certain cultural in-joke.
I know there are a bunch of posts about how to get gender neutral pronouns (they, their) on Facebook, but it always involves using developer tools which some people are not always comfortable with so I was thinking and did this thing real quick to turn it into 3 steps for…