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Word of the Day
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Definitions for code-switching

  1. the modifying of one's behavior, appearance, etc., to adapt to different sociocultural norms: For many female Muslim students, code-switching from their home environment to that of school requires forgoing the hijab.
  2. Linguistics. the alternating or mixed use of two or more languages, especially within the same discourse: My grandma’s code-switching when we cook together reminds me of my family's origins. Bilingual students are discouraged from code-switching during class.
  3. Sociolinguistics. the use of one dialect, register, accent, or language variety over another, depending on social or cultural context, to project a specific identity: Politicians use code-switching on the campaign trail to connect with their audience.

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Citations for code-switching
In many respects, Lori's adaptability--her gift for cultural "code switching," as sociologists put it--qualified her as something of an L.A. archetype, the perfect chameleon for a landscape that is as seductive, maddening, electric, and fragmented as any on this planet. Jesse Katz, "The Two Worlds of Lori Gonzalez," Los Angeles, January 2001
Given all that black women are forced to deal with--from police brutality to being told that our natural hair is unprofessional--it isn't surprising that we learn to create armor between ourselves and the rest of the world. This armor takes a variety of forms. But one particular to the black community is code switching. Angelica Jade Bastién, "'Insecure' Season 1, Episode 3: Code Switching," New York Times, October 23, 2016
Origin of code-switching
Code-switching entered English in the 1950s.