What are the vernaculars and dialects in the novel "Of Mice of Men" and their meanings?  

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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  1. Vernacular pertains to the language of a special group
  2. Dialects are linguistic groups that vary from Standard English in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

In "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck, the vernacular is the language of the ranch hands.  Such words as bunk house are vernacular, as is booby-hatch

Since the men who work in the ranch house are itinerant workers, they come from different parts of the country, they possess differing regional dialects.  However, some of their words are similar since they are of a similar social  class.  For instance, when George speaks, most of the time his words are examples of a lower socio-economic dialect.  Any number of men from various parts of the country who are itinerant workers may say these words:

You ain't gonna put nothing over on me...You get a kick outta that, don't you?  Awright, I'll tell you ....

Carlson, too, has this dialect:

If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head...why he'd never know what hit him.

But, Carlson's other words many be reflective of an expression that is vernacular:

He don't have no fun (still dialect)...And he stinks to beat hell (vernacular)....

Crooks, the black stable worker, has a dialect more typical of many Blacks.  He scolds Curley's wife,

Now you jus' get out an'get out quick.  If you don't, Im gonna ast the boss not to ever let you come in the barn no more.

 

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