LANGUAGE POLITICS

Dear David,

Nuff thanks for the positive vibes.  The basic answer to your question about why we carry on so bad about accepting our Jamaican language is plain old “mental slavery,” as Marcus Garvey put it so eloquently.  We just can’t deal with the fact that speakers of various African languages who were forced to learn various dialects of English adapted the new language to suit their African tongues.

And you know that with our colonised mentality some of us still feel that “notn black no good.” A related explanation is that those people who managed to learn English feel that they are superior to those who didn’t. English speakers have a ‘language’ and other people have nothing but a ‘sub-standard’, ‘broken’, ‘corrupt’ piece of foolishness. And people who speak this ‘sub-standard’ language are, obviously, ‘sub-standard’ too! Is pure class prejudice.

Anyhow, me an di Gleaner fall out again; they keep ‘fixing up’ what I write for no good reason.  They cut out a whole section from last week’s column with the word ‘jook’ – claiming that it was inappropriate for a family newspaper.  As if little children don’t know about sex.  I guess it would be OK for The Star.  Such hypocrisy!  Funnily enough, they kept ‘slam.’  Now you tell me what’s the difference between ‘slam’ and ‘jook’?  They are both Jamaican metaphors for sex.  I was writing about ‘Gender-biased condoms’ and making the point about the high cost of the female condom:

If it’s the female condom you’re depending on

Women can’t go on like men

Let me tell you the truth

I’m not going to lie

Women don’t fizzle like men

Women don’t flop like men

Women last longer than men

But if it’s the female condom you’re depending on

Women can’t go on like men.

Now listen to me!

3 male condoms, 60 dollars

3 female condoms, 400 dollars

What kind of wicked division is that?

Let’s turn it around.

600  dollars – 4 female condoms

600  dollars – 30 male condoms

No wonder the men are slamming all about

They have the money to back up their mouth:

1 jook – 20 dollars

2 jook – 40 dollars

3 jook – 60 dollars

If it’s the female condom you’re depending on

Women can’t jook like men

1 jook – 120 dollars

2 jook – 240  dollars

Jook, jook, jook – money’s done!

The money for the female condom

Finishes quick, quick, quick

The money for the male condom

The man can’t finish it

The man is finished long before

The supply of condoms

Anyhow, I’m fed up of the facetiness and high-handedness of the Opinion page editor, so I’m now writing for my blog instead.

Bless

Carolyn

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One thought on “LANGUAGE POLITICS

  1. Ha ha. Sorry to laugh, but I too have been a victim of the Gleaner’s editorial staff’s ignorant red pen. I recently read in someone’s blog where she said she gave up writing for the Herald when they ‘edited’ Bollywood to Hollywood!! Hilarious! I have not been so ‘lucky’ to get a contract with any newspaper, but used to write letters to newspaper editors quite regularly. I need to get an editorial job, kaaz it luuk like enibadi kyan ton edita!

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