“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

English Is a Creole

re: the recent immigration "debates" in the House.

I hate to break it to you, people trying to promote forcing English to be the official language of the USA. But English isn't actually a language. That's why it's so effective as a language! It's a creole.

I don't mean pidgin forms of English. I mean all English is a creole. It's a kluge of other tongues, heavy on nouns imported wholesale from everywhere. And very low on rules (if there are any). Various Germans tried desperately to impose some in the eighteenth century, to little effect.

So you can walk into your local drugstore and say "Two packets of gum, an ounce of smack, this jar of sunscreen and some Twizzlers please." It's designed for trading, namely, for exchange between different races and cultures. It's designed for long lists of objects...

Forcing people to be proficient in English is a fantasy--there is no such thing as proficiency in English! Because English is not a language. So you can be Sarah Palin--face it Chomsky, there is empirical proof that generative grammar does not inhere in brains!


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