Mikhail Bakhtin was right. Humans could not use the languages they know without also learning the genres which govern so much of our social life. These genres frequently consist of rules prescribing the order in which we must say things and formulaic phraseology which prescribes what can and should be said. Native speakers know only a small fraction of the formulaic genres in a speech community. This relativizes the concept of a native speaker in all situations. Koenraad Kuiper illustrates these views with an array of fascinating case studies of engagement notice writers, horse race commentators, weather forecasters, pump aerobics instructors, square dance callers, cartoonists, and Red Guards.