Friday, November 30, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: Singlish, Ebonics, and other words I can't spell

The difference between a dialect and a new language can generally be gauged in the number of guns the new speakers have. If they're armed well enough, then they have a nice new language that should be respected and taught in private school. The flavor and validity of this new tongue may also be verified by the number of speakers, how angry they are at you, and how much capitol and property you look to lose if you piss them off too badly. I understand how hard it is, parsing dialects and languages, because anyone worried enough to wonder about such terminology usually needs an interpreter just to ask their gardener to come by early tomorrow. If you're completely stumped, though, ask the oldest person you know who can still enjoy popular music. They might not care, but they have a much better chance of forming an opinion without getting mugged than you.

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