Midge. Moose. Moose. Midge. You know, alliteration is just one of the quirky little twists that one can use to augment the English language. English, for my jingoistic dollar: still the creme de la creme of all languages. Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but to listen to all the alarmist intellectual Henny-Penny doom-mongers going on and on these days about the imminent death of the English language, you'd think the English language was, like, ya know, totally dying, or something. Whatever.
George Orwell warned that banalities in the English language reflect a corrupted culture. "Banalities" without the "B" is analities. That's funny.
English is not just the language of Britain, Australia, Canada, and certain parts of Kentucky. It's also the language of business, diplomacy, and technology.
Now, when I say English, I'm talking about what we speak here in the States, without the funny accent. Because I don't know what language working-class Brits are speaking over there in England, but it isn't like anything I've ever heard. I saw the movie "Snatch" over the weekend and I felt more out of it than Liz Taylor at the Golden Globes.
I have always had a deep and abiding love for the English language, from early on in life. I've always loved the flirtatious tango of consonants and vowels, the sturdy dependability of nouns and the capricious whimsy of verbs, the strutting pageantry of the adjective, and the flitting evanescence of the adverb, all kept safe and orderly by those reliable little policemen, punctuation marks. Wow. You think I got my ass kicked much in high school?
You can gauge the esteem in which we hold the English language simply by telling someone you majored in it. Now, the first thing they do is mentally subtract twenty grand off what they think you make. The second thing they do is ask you to bring them a menu and tell them the soup of the day. And why not? In school, English was the easiest subject to bullshit your way through. There are no Cliff Notes for Physics. You can't bluff your way through a Calculus discussion just by watching "Calculus: The Movie." But when it comes to essay questions, well, you can fake it like a hooker being paid by the moan.
I understand that English is a protean, evolving language that must constantly change in order to remain relevant. But let's not go out of our way to appropriate words from other cultures simply to justify making something more expensive. Hey, you can add all the Italian suffixes you want, you're not fooling anybody over there at Starbucks. It's still just coffee. Now ring me the fuck up, you frappaloser.
And Starbuccos is not the only cultural borrower. Doctors tend to lift most of their phrases from Greek, which is only fitting since every time I go to see one, he somehow feels the need to spend the afternoon spelunking around in my ass. All I know is if Hippocrates had been born someplace other than Athens, they would have come up with an easier way to check my prostate than drilling me like theyre George Bush and my ass is Alaska.
I wouldn't be so worried about the fate of the English language if more of us could speak it properly. Forget Stone Cold Steve Austin or the Rock, if you want to see real wrestling, watch our newly elected president pronounce the word "unilateral."
Love the guy or hate him, you have to admit that when Bush is speaking unscripted, the English language disintegrates like cotton candy in a monsoon. Even he looks like hes surprised at whats coming out of his mouth, kind of like Malkovich when he had that puppeteer inside his head.
Folks, the English language is very much alive. From where I'm standing, our mother tongue is kicking ass and taking names. It's large and in charge, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of piss and vinegar and ready to open up a big ol can of whup-ass. It's calling the shots, it's bouncing and behaving, it's all up in it, and it's all that and a bag of chips. For the love of God, somebody please tell me what in the hell I'm talking about.
Now, while I have upon occasion been labeled the E.B. White of the word "fuck," you do have to admit that I went an entire football season without saying it. Take it from a connoisseur, it should be used sparingly, like saffron in a fucking paella.
See--the word "fuck" is a beauty, isn't it? From its fricative genesis, blossoming into its ripe, rich middle until its cruelly truncated in its prime by a merciless, glottal stop... In all of its earthy, salty, illicit Anglo-Saxon glory, "fuck" is almost as satisfying to say as it is to do.
Now, some would say I contribute to the coarsening of the English language through my casual use of profanity. To those critics, I would respond that my discourse merely exemplifies the vaunted precedent of valorizing the oral vernacular. I would further add that language is a living tissue, which must occasionally suffer the rupture of subversion in order to convalesce with more structural stability. So to those guardians of the linguistic gates who charge that I shoehorn the F-word in wherever I can, merely to further a rather tenuous career built entirely on a profane house of cards, well, why dont you just go fuckerize yourselves.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.more ...