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老外要拯救“中式英语”
Thread poster: nigerose

wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:23
Chinese to English
+ ...
Have a laugh or two :D Apr 11, 2010

Here's a 1979 debate in the Chamber of the House of Lords on the deterioration in usage of the English language. By my estimation, the so-called modern-day "Chinglish" phenomenon had not yet been born. One could only imagine just what these people would have to say about it today ...

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1979/nov/21/the-english-language-deterioration-in-1





I have tried to analyse what causes this. A great deal of it, of course, is due to voice production. The very nasal production which one hears is partly inherited from cockney, which was a very nasal tongue. It is still there and it seems to he particularly prevalent among young women. I passed a group of young girls chatting to each other the other day and, quite frankly, it sounded just like a consort of cats. I have no objection at all to that noise, coming from cats—it is their natural language and their natural sound—but coming from human beings I find it extremely disagreeable.





Finally, my Lords (I apologise that I am two minutes over time) I repeat from Lord Kings Norton's speech that we must cherish our language, and let me quote Bernard Shaw's preface to Pygmalion: ‘The English have no respect for their language and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for any Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman despise him".’ Well, of course, this may be a little excessive, but then Shaw believed that it was only by being a little excessive that one could make the meaning sink into the average mind.





Lastly, we come to the problem of verbal inaccuracies. I am certainly not one of those who believe that the English language should remain rigid or static. Often new words are coined (including slang words) which are both vigorous and apt, and welcome additions to our tongue. It is the lazy and careless use of existing words I object to. Among the best-known examples is the misuse of the word "infer for "imply". Another, perhaps less important, example is the use of "decimate" when "annihilate" is intended: I suspect that this is mainly because most people are not quite sure how to pronounce "annihilate". But worse still is when inaccuracy joins hands with inelegance. My heart sinks when I hear Cabinet Ministers, and ex-Cabinet Ministers, speak of " 45 pee ". After all, "pence" is just as concise and monosyllabic. Let us call a spade a spade. A penny is a penny; a pee is merely one possible way of spending a penny.






[Edited at 2010-04-12 02:52 GMT]


 
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老外要拯救“中式英语”

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