"Don’t fool yourself. English isn’t inherently superior, or easier to learn, or more sonically pleasing. Its international usage comes from forceful assimilation and legacy of colonialistic injection. It isn’t a deed that one should take pride in."
my uncle left this comment on his friend’s Facebook status, a white British man who was bragging about how easy it is to be a native English speaker when trekking to different nations. (via maarnayeri)
I used to think this too until I took a Spanish class. One of my classmates is multilingual - he grew up in India and English was his 3rd language, Spanish his 6th. He said that English was one of the easiest languages to learn and believed that’s one of the reasons it’s a universal language. It kind of blew me away, actually.
"Words are to be taken seriously. I try to take seriously acts of language. Words set things in motion. I’ve seen them doing it. Words set up atmospheres, electrical fields, charges. I’ve felt them doing it. Words conjure. I try not to be careless about what I utter, write, sing. I’m careful about what I give voice to."
Toni Cade Bambara (via the-dreamtiger)
TCB on her impeccable word game!
"Black English is the creation of the black diaspora. Blacks came to the United States chained to each other, but from different tribes: Neither could speak the other’s language. If two black people, at that bitter hour of the world’s history, had been able to speak to each other, the institution of chattel slavery could never have lasted as long as it did. Subsequently, the slave was given, under the eye, and the gun, of his master, Congo Square, and the Bible—or in other words, and under these conditions, the slave began the formation of the black church, and it is within this unprecedented tabernacle that black English began to be formed.This was not, merely, as in the European example, the adoption of a foreign tongue, but an alchemy that transformed ancient elements into a new language: A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey."
James Baldwin - If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? (via chocol8luv
"African American English is the single most important source for new slang (and, eventually, unmarked everyday colloquial usage) in White American English. Yet White authorities and ordinary people scorn and abuse it in every possible way. African American English is widely regarded as a disorderly form of “slang,” to be discouraged at school and on the job."
— Jane H. Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism (via tangledupinlace)
(Source: wretchedoftheearth, via tangledupinlace)
"The idea that intelligence is linked to English pronunciation is a legacy from colonial thinking."
— Delalorm Semabia, 25, a Ghanaian blogger (x)
(Source: steadilyemerging, via tangledupinlace)
"Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish."
Hermann Hesse (via libraryland)
I always feel this way. I’m certain that my ideas are poignant, relevant and intelligent, but often when I speak I feel like I sound like I’m fifteen.