By Peter Elbow People who care about good language tend to assume that casual spoken language is full of chaos and error. I shared this belief till I did some substantial research into the linguistics of speech. There’s a surprising reason why we -- academics and well-educated folk -- should hold this belief: we are the greatest culprits. It turns out that our speech is the most incoherent. Who knew that working class speakers handle spoken English better than academics and the well-educated?