Are you an aspiring PhD in English seeking a coveted tenure-track job? Chances are you'll be in Chicago this weekend for the annual Modern Language Association convention, and you'll be stressed. Why not "indulge in a little stress-relief fantasy role-play" with a successful libidinous leader in your field?
Language is wonderful and language is alive, but language is also a form of psychological assault—especially when everybody suddenly starts using awful new terms and phrases just because everyone else is doing it, on Twitter. We are not so naive as to think we can "ban" this or that word, because "ban" is one of the words we would ban, if words could be banned. They cannot. Thanks to 2013, we're stuck with this bunch of linguistic garbage.
Today marked an annual ceremony called Ladies Day, when Royalty and their hangers-on gather to ostensibly attend a horse race in the small town of Ascot in England. The exclusive Royal Enclosure also requires attendees to adhere to particular fashion requirements, which prompt the question: Dear England, what the fuck is on your head?
Sometime in the middle of this summer, I came up with the title "Confessions of a Part-Time Sexy Dyke" for my web series. I imagined the series remixing the traditional American queer coming-of-age narrative with my experience as a 21-year-old African immigrant. I came up with a theme song and even filmed an intro to the first episode. Then, I got stuck. I realized I couldn't go forward with the production before I really explored my relationship with the English language and my pervasive desire to be consumed by American audiences since I arrived in the states 11 years ago.
The Economist ran a fascinating (and popular) poll of British readers, asking which "Americanisms" they use. Many, it turns out, have taken to saying "apartment" instead of "flat" and "sidewalk" instead of "pavement." So let's flip it around: Which dreadful Americanisms would you trade for something from the mother country?
Just when you think that this is America and yew better speak American if you wanna live here because my daddy worked hard to support our family and I don't pay taxes to support a buncha Mescans sneaking over the border to steal my hard-earned dollars and date my daughter, you read something like this: foreigners are making good solid American dollars—millions of 'em!—without even talkin' English like a real human. Is this that "socialism" they're always talking about?
This morning on bad idea ball pit Fox & Friends, the melting Crisco sculpture known as Gretchen Carlson got outraged over a new program that requires "translation assistance" for the non-English speaking parents of Cleveland public school students. Boy was she mad!
If you've ever wanted to know what English sounds like when you don't speak it, here's a short film from Australian director Brian Fairbairn that might help you get an idea. Think of it as the dramatic version of Italian singer Adriano Celentano's classic English-sounding gibberish song "Prisencolinensinainciusol."