Top 10 Language Stories of 2008

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 3 15:50:31 UTC 2009

On Sat, Jan 3, 2009 at 10:31 AM, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at> wrote:

> And is one a hateful namecaller to say someone is a hateful namecaller if
> they call someone a hateful namecaller?

According to that logic, yes, but if you'll look at what I wrote (a
question), that's not what I did.

> There are over 6,900 languages I am told.  They'll only be preserved if
> they are used.  If they're not used, just close the book and put it and the
> audio media on the shelf.

I'm not one to cry over dead languages, despite my researching a dying one,
but I am one to cry over oppression, and that's the reason many languages
die.  Language is the deepest part of any culture, and when cultures die,
the world loses much of its richness.  When a language dies, we lose windows
into those cultures.  Language death for any reason is par for the course in
our civilization, but it's not usually a good thing, or even often a neutral
thing, because it's not only the language that dies.

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

The American Dialect Society -

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