Some years back I attended a lecture on world English. The lecturer gave a very interesting presentation, with many insights that woke up a monster inside me from its long slumber. The presentation was about a study by Evelyn Nien-ming Ch’ien, when she was Assistant Professor of English at the University of Hartford.
The lecturer (whose name I still need to retrieve from my archives) quoted extensively from Ms. Ch’ien’s monumental 352-page work, which celebrated world English by tagging it as weird English. Explained simply, weird English is non-native English, which typically drops many of the arcane and complex rules of English grammar so that its non-native speakers can comfortably express their own cultures. Continue reading “So I speak weird English. So what?”
“Manila deserves the tag ‘Gates of Hell’, when a man kills himself on the MRT tracks, and inconvenienced riders simply groan and say, ‘Namerhuwisyo pa.'”
That recent remark, posted recently on my Facebook page, was my little contribution to the fast-growing social media commentary among Filipinos that seethed around Dan Brown’s latest book, Inferno. Some Filipino observers had whipped up a titanic controversy out of a 3-page passage that described poverty-stricken Manila as the seeming gate of Hell in the eyes of the novel’s major protagonist.
Most political analysts have already started to dissect the just-concluded Philippine 2013 elections—many of them focusing on the fate of individual senatorial candidates. Understandably, they pose such questions as why Grace Poe took the top spot, why Nancy Binay remained on 5th as predicted (despite the many brickbats thrown her way), or why Risa Hontiveros or Teddy Casino for that matter failed to land into the Magic 12 despite the all-out efforts and formidable strengths of their respective camps.