nucular and Latino

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Nov 14 13:25:32 UTC 2001

> You bet it's another subject. "Not being fond of Spanglish" (or any
> variety) carries unfortunate social implications. You can't be unfond
> of human practices without condemning the producers. I am unfond of
> murder, and, by saying so, I mean to condemn murderers. What do we
> mean to condemn in the makeup of code-switchers? Code-switching (the
> phenomenon which produces so-called "Spanglish") is a community-based
> linguistic phenomenon, one probably much more common in the history
> of all languages (includiing Spanish and English) that is normally
> thought to be the case outside the linguistic community.
> Dennis R. Preston

I thought I might be opening a can or worms or opening myself up to the
accusation of prejudice. I'm more than fond of Latinos: I love them. I am
one myself, or at least half a one. My mother was Chilean. The reason I
don't like Spanglish is that I'm a native speaker of Spanish and I love the
Spanish language. But I'm aware that my prejudice, like all prejudices, is
the result of my own ignorance. I've never been to Miami, but my brother
tells me that a lot of people there say frizado instead of congelado. To me
frisar means to frizz or curl, not to freeze. (There's no difference between
s and z in the Chilean Spanish I speak). Here in France I know a lot of
Brits who speak Franglais. To my ears Franglais is just as ugly as
Spanglish. Totally unscientific and subjective of me, but there you have it.
I quite like Portonhol, though, although I speak pretty good Brazilian
Portuguese and Chilean Spanish. When I was living in the States I hung out
with lots of Latin Americans, most of whom shared my feelings about
Spanglish. If I spent any amount of time with speakers of Spanglish I might
change my mind about this language, but it's unlikely to happen now that I
live in the French Alps.

Paul Frank
English translation from Chinese, German,
French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese
Tel. +33 450 709 990 - Thollon, France
E-mail: paulfrank at

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