Monday, March 20, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - More Bad News: Another rumble in the dark jungle (in the Naija swamp)

"When you're lying awake with a dismal headache, and repose is taboo'd by anxiety,
I conceive you may use any language you choose to indulge in, without impropriety "( Lyrics)

"In Language, the ignorant have prescribed laws to the learned" (Maxims)

Or Jane Austen : "It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language" ( Northanger Abbey)

Except that this correction of banalities such as "An advice," "a good news", errors of Pluralization in Nigerian English" etc. as a necessity - nyet - a priority and a good part of development strategy should be no laughing matter. It's OK developing British and American English , but charity they say begins at home - so what about our own Nigerian English - doesn't it have a soul of its own? (Sure, sleeping giant, overweight elephant, the Eagle soars - not like "His imagination resembled the wings of an ostrich. It enabled him to run, though not to soar" (Ellis)

So (as always) - from the point of view of some of the privileged elitists

(those who correct our broken English on a daily basis )

it has come to the point where it's a matter of the survival of the fittest:

Just like the African elephant, indigenous African Languages are now endangered species !

One would have thought that our indigenous African languages are part of the world's / humanity's intellectual and cultural heritage - on par with the UNESCO world heritage sites and consequently, that indigenous African languages have to be developed !

UNESCO : indigenous African languages have to be developed

Here's a disheartening headline : 'More than 400 Nigerian indigenous languages are endangered'
BBC : (Asia) : How to revive a 500-year-old dying language

Dickens : "Miss Blimber, too, although a slim and graceful maid, did no soft violence to the gravity of the house. There was no light nonsense about Miss Blimber. She kept her hair short and crisp, and wore spectacles. She was dry and sandy with working in the graves of deceased languages. None of your live languages for Miss Blimber. They must be dead - stone dead - and then Miss Blimber dug them up like a Ghoul." ( Dombey & Son)

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