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Picture of C J Strolin
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In the thread on Yiddish words, J.T. brings up a good example of one way in which languages evolve, a way which has more than a few language purists wringing their hands in dismay.

"Spanglish" is the combination of Spanish and English in a way that makes both languages understandable to native speakers on both sides. More or less, anyway. It can be as benign as the adoption of a Spanish word when no suitable English word exists (The very first people to say "We're going to a rodeo" were speaking Spanglish) or it can start out as a joking conbination of the two languages ("Let's vamos the hell out of here").

What seems to most upset the purists is when new words are coined when there are already existing words that should suffice. When I lived in Panama, the younger locals might say "No puede frekiarme" meaning "You can't freak me out" and of course the older crowd would clutch their chests and drop to the ground. The infinitive "frekiar," to freak out, does not exist in Spanish and was not welcomed with open arms (or, more to the point, ears) by the Spanish-speaking establishment.

A recent NPR program on this subject speculated that "Spanglish" may evolve to the point where it may actually become a separate and distinct language all on its own within a hundred years or so. Interesting to think about.

My question: Have you encountered other examples of "Spanglish"? Also, I assume there are other mixes of English and other languages but I believe this one leads the pack in regards to its hold on local speakers.

And before anyone else brings it up, "Ebonics" is not exactly in this same class. "Ebonics," a dialect spoken by many people of African descent (or African-Americans and some Carribean peoples anyway; I'm not sure about England and elsewhere) has an actual structure and vocabulary that many argue should put it on a level with other "real" languages. I don't agree but, further, my main complaint is that there is a distinct difference between true "Ebonics" and the poorly-spoken English occasionally used by some American sub-groups.

And then there's always Esperanto...
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
my main complaint is that there is a
distinct difference between true "Ebonics" and the poorly-spoken English occasionally
used by some American sub-groups.
==============================================
OK, everybody, crank up the DVD and let's watch Airplane! That scene with the little old white lady and the two black men still maks me howl with laughter!
 
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Picture of BobHale
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It's not just the Spanish who object to the pernicious influence of English. The French are pretty picky about Franglais.

Non curo ! Si metrum no habet, non est poema.

Read all about my travels around the world here.
Read even more of my travel writing and poems on my weblog.
 
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Picture of C J Strolin
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Ref "Airplane," I assume you realize, of course, that the white-haired lady in question is Barbara Billingsly, formerly the mother on the 1950's sitcom (and forever in reruns) "Leave it to Beaver."

And ref Franglais, a question: If a piccolo player in Paris needs a hotel room in a hurry, is he automatically given the Toot Suite?


(No, I suppose not...)
 
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A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two Tudors to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
"Is it harder to toot
Or to tutor two Tudors to toot?"

(It's not original, but it _is_ very old!)
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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An even older version asks,

's it cuter to toot .... ?
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Yes, haberdasher, I love that poem! Is it an Ogden Nash poem?

We had a management training session today, and the lawyer who spoke used the phrase, "speak American". When I asked what that meant, she said it is English with no accents! Has anyone ever heard that?
 
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I suspect it's much older than Ogden Nash. Though I'm sure he would have approved if it had been blamed on him...
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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The flute-tooter Limerick can be effective in teaching certain features of American English to speakers of other languages.

1) It's sometimes called the "d-like medial T" where the "t" between vowels becomes voiced, like "d"

2) ... and the syllable "..or" sounds like "...er"
 
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Picture of Richard English
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It is sad that a person with the standing and education of a laywer should make such an assinine remark! Trainers (and I am one) should make sure of their facts and should certainly not make stupid statements that can have little effect other than that of confusing and/or irritating their training group.

There is NO SUCH THING as accentless speech. EVERYONE who can speak has an accent.

What she meant, of course, was "...Speak with the accent that I use since I consider it to be the right one..". In this assertion she would have been mistaken but at least she would have been accurate.

Richard English
 
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What was her wider point, I wonder? Was she suggesting that communication with patients should be conducted in a particular way -- avoiding dialect words, maybe? Sounds like a minefield. Kalleh?
 
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Even I can distinguish Boston, New York and New Jersey accents one from another. And that's without taking into account Texan and Virginian and Illinois (Chicago) accents.

So, since US English has accents to my untrained ear, this lawyer had an ano-boccal interference.

It appears that they feel inferior to UK English speakers. For why, however, I have no idea.
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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quote:
Originally posted by haberdasher:
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two Tudors to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
"Is it harder to toot
Or to tutor two Tudors to toot?"

Kalleh: Is it an Ogden Nash poem?


Carolyn Wells. The source I have gives "tooters" rather than "Tudors".
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I am reading a book about Cuba, which says that "Spanglish" has been around since 1898 (I wonder how they got that specific date!), and that it is the "supreme blending of the cultures."

Regarding Cuba, he talks about some of the Spanglish that has developed, including "sandwich", "Jonron" (homerun), "doble plei" (double play), and "beisbal" (baseball).
 
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