Wednesday, February 07, 2007

do you speak american ?

The English language is being butchered. Some of you may not care but if you're going to learn a language, wouldn't you want to learn it right? No slang because that can come later once the language is mastered. The reason the English language is going to hell? Well, I am sorry my American friends, but I have to blame this one on your country. There is quite the distinction between American English & should I say, the Queen's English. It is quite ironic, since the first American settlers were British. Some time between the Revolution & the now, the language structure has broken down.

I grew up with the Queen's English in the Middle East & in India & couldn't fathom why Americans spelled certain words like this: colour is spelled color, labour (labor), cheque (check), behaviour (behavior) and so on. I bet you some of my American friends reading this may not be aware that there even exists a distinction. Even as I type this, the American words pass the spell check, but all my Brit words are underlined in the big red.
I always have to switch my default from English US to English UK & it's something I aim to do before using any program involving words. I think it's safe to assume Bill Gates learned American English. Thank goodness Canada follows the Queen's English. You won't find words like color, labor or check in our Canadian dictionary. Thank you very much! We may acknowledge the American variation due to the close proximity with America but that's as far as we'll venture. It was only after moving to Canada that the American misspellings were demystified - America spells their words phonetically (spelling words like they sound) & now that that's explained, my high school English language teachers in the Middle East are in the know. If they read this, that is.

You'd think that Bermuda can't possibly go wrong in this department because it is a British territory. And like all commonwealth countries the Queen's English rules. Well, not here. I am sorry to say that while Bermuda should be following the Queen's English, it doesn't. It follows America. Worse yet the American English language is broken down further. I was shocked to learn that potato is spelled potatoe. Now that's definitely underlined in red. And it also makes me squeamish. Unfortunately, I imagine a toe in potato when I see it spelled in that manner. Yes, I know & I am sorry for the image. But I should not be the one apologizing. I think it's the system & the teachers that should be apologizing to the children of today. Bermuda's Ministry of Education needs to take a hard look at its English language & grammar curriculum because they're not following the Queen's English, as they should. Bermuda prides itself on doing many things English, so why not this?
For if the teachers are confused & misguided about the English language then what hope is there?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here here!