ELL: Wall Street Journal editorial

Marion Gunn mgunn at UCD.IE
Tue Mar 26 12:09:06 UTC 2002

Má mheasann sibh gur fiú an t-alt thíos a phlé ar an liosta seo (if you
consider the attached article worth discussing on this list), ar mhiste
libh sin a dh. as Gaeilge (would you mind doing so in Gaelic only)?

Arsa Doug Whalen (whalen at haskins.yale.edu) via ELL:
>   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 language.
>   I have written a response, but it will probably not be published.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

Marion Gunn <mgunn at ucd.ie>

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