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English Language: What is a Wonk?
The English (?) language has gone wonky, which means nothing to John Wonder. Tim Brown did field research:
"Since I do not speak modern English, I asked my 14 year old Valley Girl granddaughter. She said wonk is so far out it's, like, punch-buggy bad. The correct term is hecadorky, or just like, way freaky, like someone who actually does homework by hand not on a IBM. I gather MACs are bad, meaning good, but IBMs are ok, as in bad, or not good. I gather that as far as the young ladies of the real America, George W. Bush missed the gold ring so far he fell of his horse. But she thinks I'm mega-cool, so that's alright."
My comment: American Spanish has gone wonkly too. This morning I listened to a Spanish-language program from Miami, in which by long distance young Spanish (?) speakers in New York, Florida and Texas were interviewed. They spoke three different versions of Spanglish, incomprehensible until translated. I am not one of those who rejoice in these new linguistic barriers.
An odd footnote on the legal problem of bilingualism. Beijing and Taiwan are fighting over discussions on Taiwan's status. In Chinese, they used the Latin expression "sine die", but Beijing uses the expression in a different way from Taiwan. The linguistic law of the jungle.
Ronald Hilton - 3/5/00