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United States: English, Spanglish



     Jaqui White, who lives on the Tex-Mex border, rises to the defense of her local patois:
     This is not a gimmick, it is simply a way of life here on the border, and as I understand from that article on Spanglish, also in Florida. I do not know if it is present in California and Arizona. Here they call it Tex-Mex, and it is extremely widespread, I would say universal. Interestly, it seems to be spoken by persons who are fluent in both Spanish and English. It is just a colloquialism, and more of a fun way of speaking. Were these people to give a lecture, they would probably not use it. If they are speaking to an "Anglo" they would use English only. At first one is appalled when one hears it - it seems such an aberration. After a while, however, it is rather entertaining to listen to it. I also believe that it is a bit different in Florida, again, referring to the article, since the Cubans are making new words - giving a Spanish ending to an English word. Here, it is more of a combination of the two lan-guages, as in, "El libro cuesta two nine-five." That is why one really has to have a complete knowledge of both languages in order to use "Spanglish".
     My comment: Spanglish is neither fish nor fowl. Certainly it is not conducive to clear communication. Here in California it is spoken by Mexicans with a poor command of English.

Ronald Hilton - 09/06/99


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