The rich talking to the poor

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  • #3149

    Rebecca G.
    Member

    Do people in ‘higher society’ think about the way they communicate with those on a ‘lower level,’ or is their attempt at communication the same?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Rebecca G., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Baptist, Age : 28, City : Porterville, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : student/homemaker, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #28136

    Shane28071
    Participant

    I highly doubt that people in ‘higher society’ even think about how they talk to people. They’re probably interested in their jobs and what kind of scandals they can get away with due to them being in the ‘higher society,’ as it’s put. I also highly doubt that trying to communicate with people on a ‘lower level’ would even be a factor. They probably would just give a sigh of annoyance because people they communicate with wouldn’t understand simple daily vocabulary.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Shane28071, Age : 25, City : Sherman Oaks, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #41780

    Kathy26685
    Participant

    My annual income is over $100,000, and I have a college degree. I hope I never ‘talk down’ or demean someone who may be of a different socio-economic class than me. As long as someone uses proper English and is respectful, I will address them in the same manner. I do feel that proper English is important and prefer if someone pronounces words correctly, i.e. “library,” not “liberry.” Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would know someone is of a lower class – unless it is made obvious in a way other than communication.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Kathy26685, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 51, City : Springfield, State : IL Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #14341

    James D.
    Member

    You sound like you’re very angry with a whole group of people you don’t even know. If you replace “high society” with “black” in your response, perhaps you can see how prejudiced it might sound to other people. “High society” people are just like other people. Some are snotty, some are not. Most of them don’t want to be part of a “scandal”. If I communicate differently with different people it’s because different situations demand different behavior. I always try to respect people – no matter what socio-economic class they are in – with whom I am speaking because that is the way I wish to be spoken to, and I teach my children the same thing.

    User Detail :  

    Name : James D., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 47, City : Summit, State : NJ Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, 
    #46135

    Whenever I speak with someone, if it is not evident that they are a beggar, homeless or a vagrant (I may only make a contribution, but avoid conversation; I communicate with them on the same level as I would with friends or colleagues. In fact, since I was brought up in humble surroundings, I will,if appropriate, make it a point to use/comment on ‘common knowledge’ understandings, colloquialisms or jargon of the ‘street people’, to relate to them. I always assume that people who are intelligent, respectful, witty, polite and posessing good manners have opinions that are of worth. I certainly allow them to maintain their sense of pride, by not condescending.

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    Name : Basil Moreau, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, City : New Orleans, State : LA Country : United States, Occupation : Consultant, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #44545

    Patricia
    Participant

    Respndant Kathy from Springfield said, ‘I hope I never ‘talk down’ or demean someone who may be of a different socio-economic class than me. As long as someone uses proper English…’ Kathy should use proper English herself, i.e. I hope I never ‘talk down’ or demean someone who may be of a different socio-economic class than I. The verb to be cannot take a direct object; me is an object pronoun.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Patricia, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 64, City : Scottsdale, State : AZ Country : United States, Occupation : Designer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #36207

    Leslie D.
    Member

    As an upper income professional providing services to some very rich people, I can say that some of them view me and communicate with me as as if I am on a ‘lower level’, since I work for my living. Others view me and communicate with me as a ‘needed expert’, since I provide an essential service that makes them richer. Everything from body language, business manners, style of speech is different between those two groups. I suspect that these patterns vary on an individual basis at all levels of the social spectrum. My experience is that I am as often ‘dissed’ from below as from above. When dissed from below, the form is usually contemptuous or hostile body language by a clerk. When from above, the form is usually displays of temper or failing to pay my bill per our contract.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Leslie D., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 54, City : West Palm Beach, State : FL Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #46000

    rusty29508
    Participant

    Of course ‘rich’ albeit more educated people talk down to others. With the education advantage and the knowledge of how and when to use words, it is hard not to talk down. Learning how to be uneducated in speech and talk is like learning a foreign language, but who wants to learn poor American. It cannot be used in normal conversation unless one is with the semi-illiterate. If you feel talked down to, it is probably because the speaker is trying to find words that convey their meaning that are understandable by the recipient.

    User Detail :  

    Name : rusty29508, City : atlanta, State : GA Country : United States, 
    #16461

    Andrew23925
    Participant

    Why is it that whenever someone brings up socioeconomic class in relation to language, invariably someone talks about ‘daily language’? It seems to me that people should be condemned for bastardizing the English language, not rewarded for it.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Andrew23925, City : Denver, State : CO Country : United States, 
    #24115

    therocdoc24747
    Participant

    Of course, you third class rabble!

    User Detail :  

    Name : therocdoc24747, City : aurora, State : CO Country : United States, 
    #38111

    Debbie B
    Member

    I was raised by a Cuban mother who came from a very wealthy and priviledged background. Obviously she had the best ‘finishing’ educations. I have been taught to always ‘speak Up’ to the hired help. In other words I might speak using slang and the common ‘tu’ in Spanish to my friends and family. But I always use proper Spanish and the formal ‘usted’ when speaking to hired help (maids, gardeners, etc). By using the formal ‘Usted’ I am showing the utmost respect that I can to this person. As my mother used to say, ‘These are the people cleaning your toilet, I know you don’t want to do it, so you need to show respect to the one who is.’ I see it as ‘un-demeaning’. Now as a succesful ‘rich’ adult I still use ‘Usted when speaking in Spanish to household hired help, I do not do the same to professional help. I find the only people I speak down to, are ones that are ignorant through their own fault, and people who are asking for it by using incorrect grammar in English or Spanish. I feel strongly that if you are going to demean yourself by not learning or using correct grammar and syntax then I have no obligation to show you any type of respect. For example I feel strongly that using ‘ebonics’ is a way to alienate oneself from the rest of society, or at the very least pointing out differences between that person and myself. If one wants to be treated equally one should act like an equal. English is my third language, and if I can make the effort to speak it and write it correctly, then someone who has been in this country for many generations should also know how to speak it and write it correctly. I made the effort to fit in, respect the culture of my host country and respect all walks of life (rich,poor, white, black, green or yellow) but really people who want respect should command it through their words and actions….As I said the only time I will speak down to someone is one who is showing the lack of respect they have for themselves by not using proper grammar…..

    User Detail :  

    Name : Debbie B, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Religion : Agnostic, Age : 32, City : West Palm Beach, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : Real Estate Broker, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #41294

    therocdoc24744
    Participant

    Oh horse pucky!

    User Detail :  

    Name : therocdoc24744, City : aurora, State : CO Country : United States, 
    #31859

    Vail27403
    Participant

    If you don’t talk to people who mispronounce words or don’t speak ‘proper English’ then there must be lots of people of your own class with whom you don’t associate. You also miss out on alot of interesting thoughts and ideas from wise but uneducated people.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Vail27403, Gender : M, Race : mutt, Religion : Atheist, Age : 40, City : Philly, State : PA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #16677

    Vail27404
    Participant

    I think most communication, in this case occurs on an authority/subordinate basis. That is, they olny communicate in working situations, so the more well off see the less well off as: underlings at work, the waiter, the guy who mows the lawn, the garbage man, etc. On what other basis can they relate. Where A may be concerned that the value of his stock portfolio is declining and whether junior gets in as a legacy at Yale, B is concerned with covering the rent this month and hopiong junior will make it to graduation without being shot, becoming addicted to drugs, or just giving up. Maybe those are extreme examples, but really, where’s the common ground for ‘mano y mano’ common exchange?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Vail27404, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : mutt, Religion : Atheist, Age : 40, City : Philly, State : PA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #26581

    Diane
    Member

    I strongly agree with Kathy of Springfield, IL. If we would all use proper English with an emphasis on correct pronunciation, I believe that people from differing backgrounds would understand each other so much better!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Diane, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 54, City : Pensacola, State : FL Country : United States, Education level : High School Diploma, 
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