Essay on Stereotypes in media

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“Bringing Down the House” featuring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah is a clever comedy that creatively showcases the sociolinguistic phenomena covered in this course. The film is about a tax attorney named Peter, played by Martin, who stumbles into an online lawyer chat room and meets Charlene, played by Latifah. The two chat frequently, mostly about court cases, and eventually decide to meet in person. When the day finally comes, Peter is greeted at the door with who he thought would be a middle-aged Caucasian woman, but happened to be Charlene, a black woman who just escaped from prison. Thinking this was a mistake, Peter tries to kick out Charlene but is later convinced she is the one who he was speaking with in the chat room. Charlene…show more content…
In attempt to do so, he uses Sarah’s language that he believes she would be more inclined to listen to. The father’s usage of the modern hip-hop language is an example of generational conflict. Implied by other clips in the movie, we conclude the father’s environment as an attorney requires him to use a more conservative language that has been more or less designated to his generation. This contrasts with the daughters modern and hip-hop language that incorporates many slang terminologies, non-standard English sentences and phrases, and a very relaxed tone. Although we see the father is able to put a couple sentences together, everything from his tone and range clearly show his inexperience to the speech. An example to showcase his failure is when he attempts to say “an he try da get al’ up in dat.” The father used the same expression but with different pronunciation. Peter says “and he tried to get all up in that,” which is clearly too formal for this speech and loses the flavor of what makes the language so authentic to the hip-hop generation. Peter and Sarah both speak standard English, but this is another example of how it can vary. Even though the two are family and from the same class, their generation gap influences the variation of English they speak.

In this clip of the film, in attempt to help clear Charlene’s name, the father

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