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UNITED STATES: Spanglish and Creole

From Belize, Corol Bevier writes: "I totally agree with Tim Brown. In Belize we have the problem with those who would make the local English Creole an official language. The attendant problems are the same."

My comment: Belize is just one case among many. Some years ago, when I was in Suriname, where the official language had been Dutch, American linguists were trying to get the government to adopt taki-taki (talk-talk), not a major language like English, as the official language on the grounds that a country must have its own language; I don't know what the outcome was. This is the same nonsense that led some Spanish American nationalists during the independence period to argue that each country should have its own language, admittedly derived from Spanish. Thank heavens the attempt failed. One of the great advantages of Spanish America is that it is linked by a common language. which in no way hampers the national spirit. A similar argument was heard about English around the world, which would have destroyed the use of English as a global language. Much of the trouble comes from linguists, many of whom are monolingual but are fascinated by pidgin languages. This is related to anthropologists' fascination with tribal customs.

Ronald Hilton - 10/30/00