(This article is a follow-up of Here you are, you are here by M.M)
The language is a wonderful thing. Actually, it`s not a thing at all but a concept. And a very vague concept. It`s a bunch of rules that enable us to communicate between each other. And of course, to encrypt our communication from the foreign ear. It also makes a pretty good identifier of the community. They say the Greek named the foreign tribes barbarians because their language sounded like bar-king to them.
In the course of history, some cultures gained dominance over others. Be it through force or by consent. “Weaker” cultures either adopted the major culture or disappeared completely through an act of violence. Either way, words got mixed, languages got crossed and new cultures emerged.
Purism as a linguistic theory tries to keep the language clean of any foreign influences. It`s not a particulary bright theory, since the followers are forced to keep making up new words which sometimes look like something the cat dragged in.
On the other hand, the big languages are spreading around the world, propelled by the media and other cultural artefacts. Making the smaller languages run for the hills. Frantically making up new words on their way.
However, the commerical factor of the bigger languages is, of course, more attractive than the one of the smaller languages. Kavarna will never sound as good as a coffee shop, but it means the same thing. People will rather go to a market than to a trgovina. But it`s the same. It`s just the name that is different. However, the difference is significant in people`s eyes.
I know I am probably the last person on this planet to rant about markets and trgovinas since this blog is written entirely in a foreign language. I shall use the old “Do as I say, not as I do” proverb to get off the hook on this one.
Despite the last paragraph, I think that we are still afraid of our own language. We are afraid to show it to the world and so we hide amongst the towers of english language. We hide between caffe, cafe, cafee, caffee and every other permutation of the letters c-a-f-e, we dwell on the disco, disko and disqotech. We ride around on komerc, komerce, comerce and commerce. We write blogs, bloggs, bloks and so forth. We hide behind english-based nicknames and we forget that our language can be just as beautiful as a foreign one.
Some say that nobody will understand us then. That we are too small (Freud, help!) and that we will all go down in the big black hole of non comprede, amigo!
We and we alone are responsible for our own language. We can communicate with it, we can “do” poetry and prose, we can write laws and we can make up new words. All we have to do now is use it. Use it! That`s what it`s for.
If it`s good for bitching, then it must be good for something else as well.