I will argue that its most salient features are not

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Unformatted text preview: `standard'. I will argue that its most salient features are not markers of class, region, or nationality/ethnicity, but symbolic markers of feminine gender (though they are not presented explicitly as gendered, and they are prescribed to workers of both sexes). The commodi®cation of language in contemporary service workplaces is also in some sense the commodi®cation of a quasi-feminine service persona. Before I proceed, my use of certain terms requires clari®cation. When I talk about the imposition of a standard or about the standardization of speech within an organization, this is not intended to mean `the imposition of the lexicogrammatical norms of a standard (national/international) language', but more abstractly, the practice of making and enforcing rules for language-use with the intention of reducing optional variation in performance (Milroy and Milroy 1998). As will be seen in more detail below, the rules in question tend not to target grammatical or phonological variation (these being the prototypical targets for language standardization in the les...
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