[Ads-l] Latinx

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Aug 24 09:27:31 EDT 2020

My applause as well - as linguists we're observers, not arbiters of style!

Former Provost
Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Mark Mandel <markamandel at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2020 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: Latinx



On Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 6:58 PM <dave at wilton.net> wrote:

> First, I want to say that as a white male in my 50s, I am not going to
> opine on whether or not Latinx is a valid term. It's not my place.
> But I am disappointed with the attitude of some on this list, using words
> like "silliness." Those on this list should have a solid understanding of
> how language develops. Latinx will succeed or fail as a term based on
> whether and how the majority of people, especially Latinos and Latinas, use
> it. Whether or not it conforms to traditions of English or Romance
> orthography or pronunciation is irrelevant--if it succeeds, any confusion
> over pronunciation or spelling will evaporate. (And seriously, given the
> state of English spelling, any argument that it doesn't conform to
> tradition or creates confusion is absurd.) Not to mention that whether or
> not Romance languages have grammatical gender (much less the pronouncements
> of the Spanish Academy) is utterly irrelevant to a question about English
> usage. And what any official language academy dictates is especially
> irrelevant. Such academies have a notably poor record of controlling the
> use of language. The use of Latinx seems to be growing, but whether it will
> continue to do so is anyone's guess.
> And the use of gender-neutral terms is not pointless or silly. It has been
> amply demonstrated that gendered language does have an effect, however
> subtle, on people's attitudes regarding equality between the sexes. I agree
> that "bigotry" is too strong a word to describe it, but it isn't exactly
> wrong.
> Anyone can, of course, express an aesthetic opinion about the word, and
> such an opinion is valid. But it is also just a personal opinion. We all
> have our personal opinions and pet peeves about particular usages, and we
> on this list should know that such peeves are irrelevant to how language
> changes over time. If people want to express such opinions, I would hope
> they frame them as personal opinions, and not as prescriptions for how the
> language should be.
> I really just expected a better level of discussion on this list.
> -

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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