May 08, 2005

English: The Mutoe-Spawn of Languages

Inspired partly by: 'Speak Singlish Proudly, Speak English Properly'

English is the Mutoe-Spawn of Languages - because it is corrupted at every turn. No matter how hard those suits in Oxford, the Grammar Police, or even our parentses try; generations have continually failed to keep English intact. It absorbs, occludes and evolves.

Thus you have Sing-lish, Engrish, l33t, gangsta rap, American English, English English, Australian English, and a entire plethora of pidgins. English can make use of foreign words adeptly, provided the people around understand the meaning of those words --- this has allowed great intrepidly experimental linguist masterminds like Snoop Dogg pioneer terms like f'shizzle mah hizzle, by using them enough that people gradually learn what they possibly represent, or at least act cool and pretend you do.

One day, English will be the world universal language. There, I called it first (...). Deep down, everyone knew it anyway. But it won't be English as we know it today. It will absorb many terms from other languages that present-day-English just simply can't comprehend, from endearing nicknames for relatives and obscure romanticised emotions, to pop culture revolution catchcries and zany cartoon onomatopoeia. Actually I probably didn't predict it first, and Alan Dean Foster's concept of Terranglo which I'm seriously ripping, probably isn't original either.

The point is other countries shouldn't be rigidly opposed to the conquest of English, but embrace it. Embrace in such a way that it is not adopted as the cool rebellious American street lingo from the OC or 90210 repeats, but infuse it with your own spice of world culture.

I can see this rather liberal approach to "proper english" might be getting me in trouble as a teacher.

So English: The Mutoe Spawn of Languages - adopt your own mutoe-spawn today.



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