LGPOLICY-LIST digest 1033

Cara McEvoy Jenkins cfmcevoy at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 4 09:09:31 UTC 2008

Could you please unsubscribe me from this list?Thanks and regards

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 18:04:11 -0500From: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: LGPOLICY-LIST digest 1033 			    LGPOLICY-LIST Digest 1033 Topics covered in this issue include:   1) Ossetia's connection to Scotland	by r.amirejibi-mullen at qmul.ac.uk  2) UK Schools: less literature more functional skills	by "Anthea Fraser Gupta" <A.F.Gupta at leeds.ac.uk>  3) Linguistic hygiene: On the Supreme Court docket: bleeeeeep	by "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com>  4) UK: Vaz campaigns against UK immigration Minister's new policy	by "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com>  5) Referendum battles in US election , including officialization of English	by "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com>  6) South Africa: The ANC and Ideology - IV	by "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com>  7) Raisin Bomber: THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE	by "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com>  8) UK councils: no Latin lovers	by "Michael L. Friesner" <friesner at sas.upenn.edu>--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 11:04:06 +0000From: r.amirejibi-mullen at qmul.ac.ukTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: Ossetia's connection to ScotlandBBC , November 2 Hundreds of years ago, Ossetians roamed all over Western Europe, from  the Caucasus to Scotland. As Tim Whewell reveals, the folk memories of  these wanderings have lingered down the centuries, so that it can be  hard to tell where myth ends and history begins. When the nights draw  in in the high Caucasus, when the flocks are gathered in the shadow of  the ancient stone towers that dot the wooded hillsides, and there is  no sound outside but the chattering of the fast streams that run down  from Ossetia towards Georgia, there is nothing the people like better  than to settle down on the settee to watch an old DVD of Braveheart.  So much do Ossetians love that 13th Century Scots patriot, that one  told me he had made a pilgrimage to Edinburgh, only to find Wallace's  statue disappointingly small and unimpressive. It is not hard to see  why they identify with a ruthless fighter, romantically cruel, who  defended his small mountainous homeland against a more powerful  southern neighbour. For King Edward I of England, think President  Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia. He attempted back in August to regain  control of the separatist-held territory of South Ossetia, but was  beaten back by Russia, assisted by Ossetian volunteers who cast  themselves as modern Bravehearts. But the Ossetians are not just like  the medieval Scots. As far as they are concerned, they are the Scots.  And the Scots are them. Name that place Centuries ago, possibly during  the great migrations of the Dark Ages, some of their ancestors went  down from the Caucasus and set sail through the Black Sea, the  Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and arrived eventually in a landscape  they recognised: Caledonia. And how do we know they reached Britain?  Easy: place names. Sitting over a pile of flat, greasy Ossetian cheese  pies in a smoky cafe in Vladikavkaz, capital of Russian-ruled North  Ossetia, and again later, sampling a cup of young, home-made wine in a  war-damaged house in Tskhinvali - the capital of the much-disputed  south - I am asked where I am from. "London," I say. "And what does  the name mean?" I am asked. Of course, I do not know. But my hosts do.  In Ossetian, London means "standing water". Belfast, in Ossetian,  could be "broken spade". Orleans in France is "stopping place",  because the Ossetians stopped there. And England's greatest national  hero, King Arthur, was Ossetian too, apparently. His name means "solar  fire". Understanding our ancestry Toponymy, the study of place names,  has never been an overriding passion of the English.Indeed, the more you travel, the more you realise that one of the more  unusual things about people in the British Isles is their comparative  lack of interest in their national origins. Some children are taught  about the arrival of the first Saxons, or Frisians, Hengist and Horsa.  Very few know the story of our legendary Trojan ancestor Corinius and  his battle on the cliffs of Cornwall with the giant Gogmagog. Ossetian  children know all about their forefathers' wanderings around Europe  and how eventually their territory diminished again to those two  little pockets on either side of the great Caucasian watershed, the  southern one of which we heard so much about, so briefly, in August.  But the Ossetians, in their glory days of continental mastery, were  not known by that name. They were sometimes Sarmatians, and sometimes  Alans. Every third Ossetian you meet now seems to be called Alan, and  the north Ossetian republic, within Russia, is officially "Alania", as  satisfying, I suppose, for Alans as it would be for me to live in  Timia. If you are living in Bristol, Hove, Crewe or another place  whose name you cannot instantly explain, I should start worrying  Meanwhile, the Alans in the south now live, supposedly, in an  independent state, a miniscule country of 50,000 people, recognised  only by Russia, Nicaragua and Somalia. The rest of the world insists  it is still part of Georgia, though the people I met there said that  since the war they could never again live in one country with  Georgians. What some dream of is a greater Ossetia, uniting north and  south, a place where their ancient Iranian-linked language and  swashbuckling culture can flourish, free of Georgia or Russia. And if  they achieve that, they may want to expand still further to their  older, wider stamping grounds. Those of you living in Ox-ford,  New-castle, Red-bridge and anywhere else with an obvious derivation  can sleep easy in the knowledge that you have a right to be there. But  if you are living in Bris-tol, Hove, Crewe or another place whose name  you cannot instantly explain, I should start worrying. The Alans are  very mobile, and they have long memories.--Forwarded Message Attachment--Subject: UK Schools: less literature more functional skillsDate: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 12:21:42 +0000From: A.F.Gupta at leeds.ac.ukTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduBroadcast on 27 October 2008  on BBC Radio 4's education programme, 'TheLearning Curve': English GCSELibby Purves speaks to Dr Bethan Marshall, of Kings College London,about the new English GCSE, currently under preparation for introductionin 2010. The new exam is set to put more emphasis on "functional skills"- spelling, grammar, punctuation and less on literature and imaginativework. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/learningcurve.shtml Further information from the government body responsible for thisdecision:http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_18259.aspx [COMMENTS FROM ANTHEA: I heard this on the repeat programme on 2November. Well worth listening to the intelligent interview withMarshall, who I wanted to cheer at several points. This change is partof a general trend to arid functionalism in UK education, and very verysad. Linguists should resist this every bit as much as specialists inliterature.] *     *     *     *     *Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr)School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT<www.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/afg>NB: Reply to a.f.gupta at leeds.ac.uk*     *     *     *     *--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:17:52 -0500From: hfsclpp at gmail.comTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: Linguistic hygiene: On the Supreme Court docket: bleeeeeepOn the Supreme Court docket: bleeeeeep In FCC vs. Fox TV, the justices take up the future indecency standardfor television and radio. By David G. SavageNovember 2, 2008 Reporting from Washington -- The Supreme Court would not berecommended as the best place in this city to hear a raucousconversation that makes full use of the F-word, the S-word andassorted other vulgarities. It is a place of decorum. Officers will firmly reprimand a visitor whoerrs by leaning an elbow on the next chair. Tuesday morning may be anexception, however. While the nation focuses on the presidentialelection, the justices will discuss the F-word and its variants in acase that could determine whether these words will be heard more ontelevision and radio. The nation's broadcasters are fighting finesimposed by the Federal Communications Commission for airing the bannedwords, even if inadvertently. For example, when Cher won a BillboardMusic award, she said it proved her critics wrong: "People have beentelling me I'm on the way out every year, right? So f- - - 'em." FoxTV broadcast the awards program live. The channel's lawyer, Carter G. Phillips, said that "unless someonetells me not to," he will use in court the actual words that federalregulators hope to keep off the air. But the case is much more than aswearing contest, with implications not only for broadcasters but forviewers and parents. At issue is the future indecency standard fortelevision and radio. Will these broadcasts remain under strictfederal regulation because a mass audience that includes children maybe watching? Or will a looser standard prevail, giving broadcastersand audiences more choice in what they see and hear? The broadcasters say that the old rules are an unconstitutionalinfringement on free speech. Also, about 9 in 10 Americans receive TVsignals via cable or satellite -- yet only the broadcast industry,because it uses public airwaves, is subject to the legal rules, whichwere set in a different era. That means most viewers have a menu ofchannels that operate under different legal rules, with cable channelslargely free of government oversight. "The court has not revisitedthis issue in 30 years, and we would like broadcasters to be treatedthe same as cable TV or the Internet," Phillips said. The broadcasters say federal policing and the prospect of high finesfor airing banned words poses an everyday threat. "I don't want to sayall live sporting events or all live broadcasts will come to a halt,but what happens if an expletive gets on the air?" Phillips said. TheFCC "can impose a huge fine on the network and on all the localstations that broadcast it." Parents groups counter that children should be shielded from profanityand sex on TV, and maintaining a standard of decency is a small priceto pay for access to public airwaves. "They are using the public airwaves for free. We don't think we shouldhave to tolerate a race to the bottom to see who can go further," saidTimothy F. Winter, president of the Parents Television Council in LosAngeles. He said he joined the group after watching TV with his youngdaughter and finding it offensive. The group claims more than 1million members, who in turn have launched a wave of complaints to theFCC to protest vulgarity and sex on TV. "As long as the law [against indecency] is on the books, we want itenforced," Winter said. "And because of our efforts, the FCC hasstepped up and enforced the law." Since the advent of national broadcasts on radio, it has been afederal crime to "utter any obscene, indecent or profane language"over the public airwaves. The FCC is authorized to enforce that law.At the same time, the 1st Amendment says Congress "shall make no law .. . abridging the freedom of speech." During the 1960s, the Supreme Court agreed that, despite the 1stAmendment, radio and TV broadcasts could be regulated because theymade use of the public airwaves. In 1978, the court narrowly upheld the FCC's fine against a radiostation for broadcasting comedian George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words"monologue during the afternoon. One justice called Carlin's skit a"sort of verbal shock treatment." However, the court's opinionsuggested that an "isolated use" of a vulgar word would not violatethe law. But four years ago, in response to complaints from the parents groups,the FCC announced a crackdown on the broadcast of expletives thatdescribed "sexual or excretory" activities. The commission said thatthese words were always shocking and graphic, even if used fleetingly,and that any broadcast of them could subject the network to fines ofmore than $325,000. "Any use" of the F-word "inherently has a sexual connotation," the FCCsaid. It also banned the use of the word "bulls- - - -er" on thegrounds that it "invariably invokes a coarse excretory image." Broadcast industry leaders called this conclusion shocking. They saidit was ridiculous to say that Cher's emphatic rebuke to her criticswas an invitation to sex. The FCC also cited singer Bono, who exulted upon winning a GoldenGlobe that the award was "really, really f- - -ing brilliant!" The FCC also has seemed inconsistent in following its own rule. Its members made an exception for the broadcast of "Saving PrivateRyan," because the soldiers' coarse language on the D-day beaches wasintegral to the story, but it refused a similar exception for coarselanguage from the musicians profiled on Martin Scorsese's TVdocumentary "The Blues." Congress has strongly supported the FCC's crackdown, with lawmakersvoting to raise the fines for violations after singer Janet Jackson'sbreast was briefly exposed during the Super Bowl halftime show in2004. CBS was fined $550,000 for that incident, but the network has won anappeal, though the case is still pending. Last year, the broadcast industry won a tentative victory in its fightwith the FCC when the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York blocked thenew policy against "fleeting expletives" on the grounds that it wasarbitrary, vague and possibly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court could rule narrowly on whether the FCC hadadequately explained its shift in policy, or broadly on whether the1st Amendment limits the government's power to police TV and radio. The justices will hear the government's appeal Tuesday in FCC vs. Fox TV. Savage is a Times staff writer. david.savage at latimes.com http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/scotus/la-na-scotus2-2008nov02,0,6098477.story -- **************************************N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service toits membersand implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owneror sponsor ofthe list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members whodisagree with amessage are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)*******************************************--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:19:46 -0500From: hfsclpp at gmail.comTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: UK: Vaz campaigns against UK immigration Minister's new policyVaz campaigns against UK immigration Minister's new policy London (PTI) Leading NRI labour MP Keith Vaz has joined issue withBritish immigration Minister Phil Woolas saying it was "totallyuntrue" that Labour would seek to restrict foreign workers assuggested by the minister. Woolas's call for a tough new approach lastmonth sparked a furore in the Labour Party and led to the HomeSecretary Jacqui Smith, banning him from appearing on Question Time.Friends of the minister have since insisted that he was speaking withthe Prime Minister's backing. Woolas had said that the government should be ready to go further inlimiting migration and favoured introduction of an Australian-stylepoints system which will ensure that high-skilled migrants arewelcomed while non-European Union nationals with no useful job skillsare barred.  Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee,voiced unhappiness at Woolas's comments during a visit to India wherehe told businessmen that there would be no cap on the number of peopleallowed to migrate to Britain. The Leicester East MP is leading an inquiry by the select committeeinto how the new system has been working since being introduced inApril. It assesses applicants on criteria such as age, earnings,education and language ability. India was the first nation where itwas introduced. Vaz pledged that the system would help the UK curryindustry by allowing it to recruit more skilled employees from India.However, Woolas said the points based system "does allow you tocontrol numbers." http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200811022089.htm -- **************************************N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service toits membersand implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owneror sponsor ofthe list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members whodisagree with amessage are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)*******************************************--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:24:52 -0500From: hfsclpp at gmail.comTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: Referendum battles in US election , including officialization of EnglishReferendum battles in US election By Max DevesonBBC News, Washington  When American voters go to the polls on 4 November, they will not justbe choosing a president. The issue of same-sex marriage has dividedopinion in California  In many states, they will also be faced with anumber of referendum questions, known as propositions or ballotinitiatives. If passed, they will change state laws.  And many of themdeal with issues on the frontline of American politics, from gaymarriage to abortion. The most high-profile ballot initiative in this election cycle isprobably California's Proposition Eight, or Prop Eight, as it is knownfor short. If passed, it would amend California's constitution to say:"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised inCalifornia."  The proposition has been put forward by opponents of gaymarriage in the state, in response to the California Supreme Court'sdecision in May 2008 to overturn a law introduced by a 2000proposition, which had defined marriage in state law as being betweena man and a woman only. Opponents of same-sex marriage want to placetheir definition of marriage in the state's constitution, thuspreventing the state's Supreme Court from overturning it. California's Proposition Two would outlaw battery farming Although Californian voters opted in 2000 to outlaw same-sex marriage,the battle this year is very tight. Polls suggest that voters nowoppose attempts to amend the constitution, albeit by a very smallmargin. Opponents of the measure say they may be helped by thepopularity of Barack Obama at the top of the ballot - but also harmed.Mr Obama will bring out liberal voters who support same-sex marriage,but he will also increase turnout among African-Americans, many ofwhom oppose it. Voters in two other states - Florida and Arizona -will also consider constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage. 'Right to know' In California - which has a long history of direct democracy - voterswill also be asked to approve measures to raise renewable energytargets, and "prohibit the confinement of farm animals in a mannerthat does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up,and fully extend their limbs" - a move aimed at outlawing batterypoultry farming. And Californians will also be faced with aproposition to introduce a so-called "Sarah's Law", which wouldprevent minors from getting an abortion until 48 hours after theirparents or guardians had been notified.  Parents have a right to know about their daughter's abortion Orange County Register The proposition has divided opinion in the state, with the latest pollsuggesting 46% of voters are in favour, with 44% opposed and 10%undecided.  Newspapers in the state are also on opposition sides ofthe debate: the Los Angeles Times advises a "No" vote, for fear that"some girls will seek out illegal abortions rather than notify theirparents", while the Orange County Register urges a "Yes" on the basisthat "parents have a right to know about their daughter's abortion".Two other states will also be voting on propositions dealing with theissue of abortion. In South Dakota, voters will be asked to approve an amendment to thestate's constitution that would ban all abortions in the state exceptin cases of rape or incest or to protect the woman's health. And inColorado, there is a proposition to define "personhood" as beginningat the moment of fertilisation, rather than when an egg is implantedin the uterus. Opponents of the measure say it would outlaw certainforms of contraception, which prevent implantation (but notfertilisation).  The proposition - known to its supporters as the"Equal Rights Amendment" - is unlikely to pass. Electoral ploy Aside from the issues of abortion and gay marriage, few subjectsexcite so much passion in US politics as immigration.Some Americans have become increasingly fearful that - as Hispanicimmigration increases - the English language is in decline.Two states will vote this year on propositions aimed at reversing thisperceived decline. In Oregon, Ballot Measure 58 would prohibit schoolsfrom teaching foreign students in their native language after one yearin elementary school or two years in high school. And in Missouri,Constitutional Amendment One would "establish English as the officiallanguage for all government meetings where public business isdiscussed or decided or where public policy is formulated".  Neithermeasure has much likelihood of being passed. But, like this year's other ballot measures, they might succeed inbringing people out to the polls, thus helping candidates elsewhere onthe ballot. Indeed, many commentators have suggested that puttingcontroversial propositions on the ballot has been used as an electoralploy in recent years to bring out the base. In particular, observerssay the large number of anti-gay marriage measures on the ballot in2004 may well have been put there in order to increase turnout amongsocial conservatives and give George W Bush a boost in thepresidential election - a factor which may well have pushed him overthe top in marginal states like Ohio. This year, the Democrats may be attempting to use similar tactics:voters in Colorado and Missouri will be considering propositions onunion rights, which could encourage blue-collar Democrats to come tothe polls. In total, there will be 153 propositions or initiatives onthe ballot in 36 states this year. How Americans vote on them willtell us just as much - if not more - about public opinion in Americathan will the results of the presidential election.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7696178.stm-- **************************************N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service toits membersand implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owneror sponsor ofthe list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members whodisagree with amessage are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)*******************************************--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:27:37 -0500From: hfsclpp at gmail.comTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: South Africa: The ANC and Ideology - IVThe ANC and Ideology - IV  In my 'The ANC and Ideology – I' of 9th September I pointed out howblind and unthinking ideology can completely negate the goodintentions behind the framing of social, political and other systemsof thought. The ANC has shown itself to be particularly adept at thisform of intellectual suicide. Many years after winning the fight withwhich it so exclusively identified itself, the ANC still has to makethe transition from a 'liberation' movement to an effective andconsistent party worthy of the role and responsibilities of nationalgovernment and regional – even global – leadership in line with theeconomic infrastructures inherited from its former enemies.  Through a mix of plain old incompetence and a more sinister campaignof deliberate 'blind-eye' politics (for example, denial of the linkbetween HIV and AIDS, denial of the scale and severity of runawaycrime in South Africa, denial of the existence of a crisis in Zimbabweand its impact upon South Africa, etc.), the ANC has deluded itselfinto believing that it need never change from the simplistic andauthoritarian politics of the fear-inducing slogan and street marcheswhich it believes fully and completely characterises the outlook anddemeanour of the South African population.  Recent events on the South African political landscape (viz: theschism developing within the ANC) might be demonstrating to all andsundry that the ANC may well have been fooling itself for a littlelonger than many ordinary South Africans are prepared to accept.However, this post is not about the splintering of the ANC (perhaps Ishall indulge myself another time), but rather about the ANC'slanguage policies. Much as it might desire to be otherwise, SouthAfrica is very similar to the rest of the African continent in that,for very good historical, geographical and social reasons, it ishugely fragmented linguistically.  Spearpoint has no clear idea of how many different languages anddialects there are in South Africa, other than there are a lot. Mostof these are fairly clearly defined geographically with plenty ofoverlap. The main exceptions are, of course, English and Afrikaanswhich, by and large, extend throughout the entire country (althoughthere are still areas in South Africa where English is not knownenough to enable ordinary conversation and Afrikaans is the fall-back– inconvenient for Spearpoint-types who, for one reason or another,cannot or will not speak what can be a baffling Creole tongue withapparently randomly variable grammar, syntax, spelling andpronunciation that oft-times appears to defy any logic known to Man).  No doubt with the initial intention of inspiring feelings ofinclusiveness, the ANC, upon its donning the cloak of power in themid-1990's, decreed the policy of recognising fully eleven officiallanguages (including English and Afrikaans) in South Africa.However, Spearpoint would contend that the ANC, in adopting andpromoting such a wide range of official languages, has seriouslystepped on its own shoe laces in attempting to convince people that itwas capable of giving everyone what they wanted.  Consider the implications.  An official language is one that has to be accommodated in all legal,parliamentary and commercial transactions.  In theory, any such language must be available, on demand, in anyofficial literature, correspondence and dialogue. Translations must beproduced; translators must be schooled, trained and paid; equipmentand resources must be provided.  The cost implications – particularly for our emerging Third Worldeconomy – are staggering and, quite simply, unaffordable.  The entire system is also unwieldy, cumbersome and very time-consumingin the production of its end result. It is also prone to politicalmanipulation.  However, these are not the main concerns.  What exercises Spearpoint regarding South Africa's language policy isthat it is doing nothing to prepare and equip ordinary South Africansfor interaction with the rest of the world.  Notwithstanding considerations of national pride and the wishfulthinking of the ANC, the lingua franca of the planet is the Englishlanguage. Other important historical languages are French, Spanish andPortuguese but it is English that is predominant. Even Mandarin,spoken by a majority of the world's population, is not foisted uponthe world simply because it is too damned difficult to mastersufficiently for even ordinary commercial and political intercourse.English, by comparison, is simple in its alphabet, grammar and logicwhilst being fully capable of expressing the most intricate andcomplicated concepts yet devised by Man.  With this in mind – and from a practical standpoint - what then is thelogic in educating our children in what are effectively local andparochial languages? School children and university students willnever use, for example, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa or iSotho outside oftheir villages and provinces. Commercial and political discoursebeyond those places will never be in anything other than English or,less and less as time goes by, the other colonial tongues.  Spearpoint is not here advocating that local and indigenous languagesshould be allowed to wither and die – quite the contrary, in fact.Such languages are tremendously important in the identification andtransmission of any number of cultures and perspectives. Let thoselanguages be taught and studied – but not at the cost of mastery inthe English language.  Keep in mind, also, that every local African (and non-African)language, once exposed to English, has adopted a host of English wordsand expressions as convenient shortcuts – some so much so that sometongues now resemble more Pidgin languages rather than the linguisticsof their ancestral tongues.  Written and spoken fluency in English is one of the keys to thetreasure box of international knowledge and skills so desperatelyneeded in the Third World. Our children can never hope to have accessto the myriad of international opportunities if they are unable to useand understand the written English language or if they are unable tospeak it without some horrendous and caricatured dialect or accent.  The ANC fails its people when it actively works to promote indigenouslanguages at the expense of the lingua franca of the world. It deniesordinary people those tools which would be otherwise available toenable individuals to better fulfill themselves and it denies theeconomy of this emerging Third World country the expertise to venture,with confidence, into the wider world of education, commerce andpolitics. The ANC holds back its supposedly beloved South Africa byits insistence on what it perceives to be the only politically correctideology of encouraging a legion of relatively unknown tongues to seekequality with the only language that is, to all intents and purposes,universal.  Given the character of the ANC leadership and the manner in which itunderstands, exercises and applies power, it is, perhaps, no greatsurprise that the ANC has chosen this excessive language policy. Thereis little appetite in the ANC for the intellectual empowerment of anygroup outside of the ANC elite – people tend to become troublesome anddifficult to gull when they are overly educated and exposed to ideasand concepts not sanctioned by the ruling politburo; government thenbecomes difficult and more open to unwelcome scrutiny by those notsharing the benefits of being in charge and control of nationalresources. To divide, conquer and suppress one's own constituencyrequires economic, geographical and intellectual isolation of whatevergroupings may exist within one's own borders – and, if thepronouncements and actions of the ANC over the past fifteen years orso are anything to go by, such isolation is the very bedrock of ANCtheory and practice.  Spearpoint. 2nd November 2008 http://spearpoint.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/the-anc-and-ideology-iv/-- **************************************N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service toits membersand implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owneror sponsor ofthe list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members whodisagree with amessage are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)*******************************************--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:33:01 -0500From: hfsclpp at gmail.comTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: Raisin Bomber: THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGETHE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE Between us, Michaela and I speak English, German, French, and enoughSpanish to get by in a pinch. What we don't know – and which wouldobviously come in very much handy here – is either Albanian orSerbian. Because of this, we hired a translator. Fluent in Albanian,Serbian, English, and German, Kesi worked as a professional translatorin Germany for many years before moving to Kosovo to start a businessas an environmental engineer. He's quick enough to do simultaneoustranslations, which really helps keep the flow of an interview going.He is culturally sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of both Serbian andAlbanian culture. He is fun to be around, which is a big bonus sincewe are all spending so much time together. As the person we hadplanned on working with turned out to have taken another job when wearrived, we are especially lucky to have found Kesi through the friendof a friend. In the United States, the idea that language is political is usuallyframed in terms of "freedom of speech" or of a powerful personstrategically using euphemisms or vagueness to conceal or preventthought or action. Both of these issues were relevant in YugoslavianKosovo too: conditions were hardly conducive to people expressingthemselves freely or hearing their realities reflected in the words ofthose who governed them. But there was also another dimension to thepolitics of language, which was that although Albanians made up almost70% of the population, the language of public life was Serbian. This meant that while Albanians were free to speak their own languageat home, outside the home - at school, at work, and for any businessrelated to the State - they were forced to use Serbian. This had beenthe case since the Yugoslav state was formed in 1918. Although Titoeased this a bit by stopping the "Serbian-izing" of Albanian names andallowing some Albanian-speaking schools to be established, Serbiannationalism rose again after his death and saw many of those changesreversed. The Albanian-language university in Pristina was closed in1991. Government funding was withdrawn from the few existingAlbanian-language schools. Street signs were renamed in Serbian andwritten in Cyrillic script. No state-owned television or radio wasallowed to broadcast in Albanian. In the U.S. it is easy to forgetthis language aspect of human rights, because English is a worldlanguage and it would be almost impossible to take away our right touse it when we please. In Kosovo the effect of this policy was toreinforce a structure where Albanians and Albanian culture werecontinually suppressed – something which greatly contributed to ethnictensions and resentment. Since the end of the war, Albanians have regained the public use oftheir language, and Albanian now stands with Serbian and Turkish asthe country's official languages. Additionally, Kosovo recognizesGorani, Romani, and Bosnian. Sadly, the legacy of the languagepolicies of the Serbian nationalists who long controlled the region isstill divisive: although many Albanians learned both Albanian andSerbian in order to get by, few Serbs of the same age group speakAlbanian - which helps make it difficult for Serb communities tobecome a part of the new Kosovo. And unfortunately, fewer and feweryoung people of either ethnicity are fluent in both languages. Youngpeople of both groups are usually working very hard on their Englishor German, as most of the few well-paying jobs are withinternationals, and knowing these languages can be a ticket toopportunity. As Kesi pointed out one day, it will soon be easiest forpeople to speak to each other in English, which isn't even one of thecountry's official languages. Posted by RAISIN BOMBER FILMS at 12:00 PM http://raisinbombernews.blogspot.com/2008/11/politics-of-language.html -- **************************************N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service toits membersand implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owneror sponsor ofthe list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members whodisagree with amessage are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)*******************************************--Forwarded Message Attachment--Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 16:45:21 -0500From: friesner at sas.upenn.eduTo: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.eduSubject: UK councils: no Latin loversLONDON – It's a bona fide scandal.Britain's Latin and Greek aficionados are outraged at a decision by some localcouncils to veto the use of Latin words and phrases — including bona fide, adlib, et cetera and e.g. — in official documents.The councils say Latin is no longer widely understood. But classicists say axingLatin phrases is an attack on the foundations of English — the linguisticequivalent of "ethnic cleansing.""Think of the number of words from Latin that are now part of the Englishlanguage: alias, alibi, exit, terminus," said Peter Jones, a retired professorof classics at the University of Newcastle and founder of Friends of Classics."Are they going to cut out those words?""The English language is a hybrid animal that has adopted any number of wordsand phrases from other languages which have become a part of English," headded. "To deny the hybrid nature of the English language is almost like ethniccleansing of English."The council in Bournemouth, a town of 170,000 on England's south coast, has a"plain language" policy that lists 19 Latin words and phrases to be avoided,and suggests replacements. The council recommends "improvised" instead of adhoc, and "genuine" for bona fide.Salisbury City Council in southern England also advises staff to avoid ad hocand et cetera, as well as French phrases like "in lieu" and "fait accompli."British local authorities have been under pressure from their umbrella body, theLocal Government Association, and others to cut their use of jargon andconfusing language.The Plain English Campaign, which has been fighting official jargon for threedecades, said a majority of councils had adopted some form of plain-speakingguidelines, although few appear to have gone as far as Bournemouth ineliminating Latin.The campaign said it supported the council's policy."We are talking about public documents where people need to read, understand andtake action that may affect their lives," spokeswoman Marie Clair said Monday."This is information that everybody needs to know about, regardless of theirlevel of education."Latin and ancient Greek were once considered the cornerstones of a first-classeducation. But the languages are no longer widely taught in Britain. Friends ofClassics says Latin is taught in only 15 percent of state schools — a modestincrease from a few years ago.But Latin's backers say thousands of common English words have Latin roots, andargue the replacement phrases can be even more difficult to understand. To someears "existing condition" is less harmonious than "status quo," and "the otherway round" less snappy than "vice versa."No one from the Bournemouth council was willing to speak to The Associated Presson Monday, but a spokeswoman said the language guidelines have been in effectfor two years without attracting notice.Despite the policy, the town retains a Latin motto on its crest: "Pulchritudo etsalubritas" — beauty and health.Linguistic controversies are nothing new in Britain, cradle of the Englishlanguage, where people have strong opinions on what constitutes proper usage.In recent years officials have moved to avoid language that gives offense toethnic minorities, disabled people and other groups.Predictably, some feel the drive has gone too far. Many were bemused earlierthis year when it was reported that a town council had banned the word"brainstorm" because it might offend people with epilepsy, a condition thatinvolves periodic electrical storms inside the brain. Tunbridge Wells counciladvised using "thought showers" instead.London's Harrow Council says banning Latin is a step too far."I would have thought banning phrases which have been part of the texture of ourlanguage for centuries is frankly the least of a town hall's problems when itcomes to communicating with the public," said Paul Osborn, the council's headof communications. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081103/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_no_latin
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