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United States: English, Spanglish

     Language is the principal glue holding a nation together, and in the United States that means English. An ability to write and speak good, clear English is a must for getting ahead in our society. Since minority children often do not master English, they are held back in school. One retort is to elevate bastardized forms of English to official status. In Oakland there was a proposal to make Black English a school language, but it was rightly ridiculed and defeated.
     Now "Spanglish" is asserting itself. Jaqui White has sent me an article from the August 99 issue of American Airlines' In Flight Magazine entitled "¿Habla Spanglish? Once considered lowly slang, Spanglish--a combination of English and Spanish--suddenly has cachet." This is absurd, rather like chicanos proudly wearing zoot-suits. Spanglish earns them the scorn of both English and Spanish-speaking people. It is probably another gimmick of Mexican-American politicians appealing to La Raza.

Ronald Hilton - 09/05/99