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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » I mean, hell, did anyone bitching about this even bother to read the latest pulitzer-prize winning novel?

I mean, hell, did anyone bitching about this even bother to read the latest pulitzer-prize winning novel?

Because it’s in pidgin Spanglish.

English doesn’t need your help

Unless someone is proposing a return to the purity of Anglo-Saxon, we are left to deal with English as it is: a language developed mainly by illiterate and despised peasants over four centuries when the ruling classes, the Normans, used mainly bad French and Latin; a promiscuous language that has taken on bits of every other language it has ever rubbed against, including Latin and bad French; a world language through the historical circumstances of British and American imperialism; a language that has its own dynamic and goes where it will, despite the feeble efforts of legislators and usage commentators.

Language Devaluation:

Putting aside the debatable presumption that English is the language of American civilization, I’m struggling to see how the use of other languages “devalues” English in any way. What exactly does Folwell mean by “language devaluation”, anyway? Interestingly, the current top Google hit for {“language devaluation”} is a 1975 Time Magazine article (“CAN’T ANYONE HERE SPEAK ENGLISH?“), which is all about how English is being corrupted by its own speakers (in the classic but “turgid, self-righteous and philosophically hopeless” Orwellian sense — there’s even an Orwell quote toward the end of the article) and makes no particular mention of immigration, languages other than English, and so forth. Thirty-three years later, we appear to be less worried about how language is twisted by our leaders to push people into conformity with certain political ideals (some progressives even think we should follow the lead of conservatives in doing more such “framing“) and more concerned with … well, I’m not quite sure what.

See also: The Academy Strikes Back, and Linguistic Nationalism.

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