ELL: Wall Street Journal editorial

Akira Y. Yamamoto akira at KU.EDU
Tue Mar 26 04:59:51 UTC 2002

The Wall Street's editorial is outrageous.  I've respected the WSJ for its
quality but now it is all gone.  Whether your response will be published or
not, please post it here also.  Thanks for writing it.  Best, Akira

>  On Friday, March 8, 2002, page W13, the Wall Street Journal published an
>editorial by John J. Miller entitled: "How do you say 'extinct'?:
>Languages die, the United Nations is upset about this." Miller's basic
>point is that promoting minority languages entails a "careless embrace of
>multiculturalism" that "gives short shrift to the interests and choices of
>people in tiny language groups."  Miller makes many mistakes, including
>confusing language change with language death and, by extension, the death
>of entire language families with language change.  He is dismissive of
>native culture, preferring the "reality" --his word-- "that most people
>would rather eat a Big Mac than a fistful of beetle larvae."  He says that
>the reason "some languages are disappearing is precisely that their native
>speakers don't regard them as quite so precious" as linguists make them
>out to be.  He shows no recognition of the many factors ranged against
>minority languages, and even against a "decision" about abandoning a
>  I have written a response, but it will probably not be published. If it
>is not, I may post it here.
>  Doug Whalen DhW
>Doug Whalen (whalen at haskins.yale.edu)
>Haskins Laboratories
>270 Crown St.
>New Haven, CT 06511
>203-865-6163, ext. 234
>FAX:  203-865-8963
>Endangered-Languages-L Forum: endangered-languages-l at cleo.murdoch.edu.au
>Web pages http://cleo.murdoch.edu.au/lists/endangered-languages-l/
>Subscribe/unsubscribe and other commands: majordomo at cleo.murdoch.edu.au

Akira Y. Yamamoto
The University of Kansas
Department of Anthropology
Fraser Hall 622
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7556
Phone: (785) 864-2645
FAX: (785) 864-5224
Anthropology: http://www.ukans.edu/~kuanth/
Linguistics: http://www.linguistics.ukans.edu/

Endangered-Languages-L Forum: endangered-languages-l at cleo.murdoch.edu.au
Web pages http://cleo.murdoch.edu.au/lists/endangered-languages-l/
Subscribe/unsubscribe and other commands: majordomo at cleo.murdoch.edu.au

More information about the Endangered-languages-l mailing list