Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Speak English!

Last year, I was cruising South down the Florida coast, headed for home and minding my own business.  The VHF radio was on, monitoring channel 16 as per custom and the rules and a voice came on, a bit weak, saying something in Spanish to another vessel too far away for me to hear.  They were certainly in international waters along with countless other vessels steaming past the US en route to somewhere else.

"SPEAK ENGLISH!" blasted a nearby voice.

I can't really think of a suitable word to describe that sort of ignorant insolence, nor for the sort of person who thinks, probably in the name of freedom, he can dictate to others what language they can speak or is too caught up in the common Conservative low brow reflex to hearing some language he can't understand.

I have to admit that sometimes I feel the same way when listening to the American news media. It's not so much that I'm forced to learn useless vulgar neologisms like "twerking" but more that I simply and all too often have no idea what they're talking about.  Take HNN's recent discussion of a young woman having been beaten to death in front of witnesses and cameras.  I don't know why, because every reference to the story I can find tells me it was about a "photobomb."   Every one, because the media in their hysterical lust to sound trendy ( in the old sense of the word since trend now means something entirely different) has run off the linguistic rails.  Somehow a very attractive young woman was murdered for having done some insignificant but mysterious thing and I will never know why.


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