Wronging English by Ruanni F. Tupas

1546 Words Oct 23rd, 2013 7 Pages
Wronging English
(2002, revised May 2008)
T. Ruanni F. Tupas
Filipino linguist Ma. Lourdes Bautista has recently come out with her latest book which gives us more empirical evidence of Philippine English or, to some, "bad" English. For many decades now, scholars have fought not only for the recognition of the many
Englishes in the world, but for the importance of their use as our way of getting back at the English language. After all, they say, English is also an Asian language.
Those of us who have access to the Internet surely have had our share of what a friend calls "e-jokes" (Erap jokes), as well as lists of ways to manipulate English to create new meanings or simply, to amuse people. Here are some of them:
Notice on the window of a
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Billboards, street signs, restaurant menus, etc., were all in Japanese.
Of course, I didn't mind the inconvenience: the struggle to survive without English was a healthy experience for me. I thought that those who helped me along the way were friendly and gracious with or without English.
I didn't stay long enough to realize that the seeming resistance to English by the
Japanese does not hold completely true these days. The Japanese are now obsessed with
English, according to one Japanese professor and writer, and this, he says, has to be eliminated. Nevertheless, the Japanese (as opposed to Filipinos) at least have the right priorities -- to access the world’s knowledge stored in English and to develop intercultural competence through the language, and not to train
English-speaking bodies for export abroad. The Japanese language remains the core language of survival and progress.

There is certainly no easy way out of ‘correct English’, as there is no easy way out of the global economic and cultural system that perpetuates its use. We are a poor country with very little political clout in global affairs. Getting out of the system completely is a dream and, even if this were possible, we run the risk of being isolated from the rest of the global community.
But this doesn't mean we should do nothing at all. We live in a dynamic world as social beings capable of effecting change no matter how small. If language serves as blinders so we see the world in a

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