People learn their place in the world by virtue of the language codes they employ. The code that a person uses indeed symbolizes his social identity. – Basil Bernstein
The term code refers to a set of organizing principles behind the language employed by members of a social group.
There are two codes in which a language is used — Restricted code and elaborate code.
Restricted code is imprecise, assumes shared understanding and can often be inaccurate. Elaborate code on the other hand is precise, well laid out, explicit and can stand on its own.
While speaking of high corruption in bureaucracy, a person who speaks in restricted code may blurt: “All bureaucrats are corrupt.” An elaborate code speaker would say: “The instances of corruption in bureaucracy seem much higher than in other professions.”
Note how the words are used to qualify in the elaborate code. Note also that the restricted code speaker may soon have to retract his statement for it lacks accuracy whereas the elaborate code user can hold on to his.
Bernstein says that he finds a greater preponderance of the elaborate code in higher classes.
I have found that the elaborate code is also a ticket to the higher classes.
This variation in how a language is used is a key to rise in life.
One of the greatest proponent’s of the elaborate code was Osho. His speeches both in English and Hindi are a primer on how to express oneself accurately and precisely.