How would you describe yourself? Usually, quite a few possibilities come to mind. For example, I am a woman, an American who has lived in England for forty years, a 63-year-old ‘baby boomer’, a grandmother, and a retired university lecturer (just to name a few of my ‘identities’). And, just as I have a variety of identities, I also have a variety of ways of speaking. Although in all cases I am speaking English, the language I use when talking informally to friends of my own generation can be quite different from the one I used in lectures to my students in London, or the one I used when talking with my grandmother in California. The way I talk to my husband is not the same way I talk to my grown sons. And the way I talk to my sons now is quite different from the way I talked to them when they were toddlers.