Notwords and Pidgin English

I guess some would call “Pidgin” English “Pigeon” English, just as some would call Welsh “Rarebit” Welsh “Rabbit,” but that’s okay.

My experience with Pidgin English dates to the 1970s and several months I spent in Hawaii editing a publication on the fly.  Here’s what happened to our happy little band of writers and editors by the time we headed home.  We got used to saying, “Did you eat?” at lunchtime to try to hook up with someone for a bite to eat.  By the time we left, the sentence had become a single Pidgin word, “Jeet?”

That may actually be beyond Pidgin English, which nonetheless contains many Notwords within its lexicon.  Still, I never said Notwords couldn’t have charm.

l’Academie de l’Anglais?

The French resist every onslaught of a foreign word (sacre bleu! especially an American word or phrase) into their language through the French Academy, official arbiter of all French language usage.  However, they usually don’t succeed; the words creep in anyway: “Je voudrais une hamburger.”

I’m with the French but on the right side of the Atlantic, so let’s stop abuse and misuse of English!

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Rush to Judgment Confession

Oops, guess I blew it with my Wall Street Journal woe story.  As it turns out, even as the size of the paper has shrunk, the content has been expanded in accordance with a couple of years of planning.  Welcome to “Journal 3.0” (one step ahead of Web 2.0, I guess), editors and others announced in the paper as I finally got a chance to read it late last night.

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