Garblog's Pages

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yours, sir, is a LAFA | Hajrah Mumtaz, DAWN.COM

"LAFA" in the headline refers to "locally acquired foreign accent"--the practice of mimicking "English English" in former British colonies like Pakistan, where this article was first published.

Mumtaz writes:
I think that languages ought to be written and spoken in their correct form. Slang is one thing, and sometimes words and phrases must be added to a language because it lacks expressions — because of historical and societal context — that convey the exact meaning required. Thus we have additions such as ‘floor patients’ or ‘mummy daddy’ people. And there does exist a need for languages to be flexible and coin new words and usages as times change.
Accent and pronunciation, however, are more problematic. One could argue that pronunciation should also be as received, but too many people find themselves derided or discriminated against in varying ways, here and elsewhere, because their English accent is not good enough.
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