Oh, Mexico! It's "a land so rich in slang and wordplay (much of it salty but freely used) that a newcomer armed with book-learned Spanish might feel he had studied for the wrong test." HAHA RIGHT? UNLIKE FRANCE OR RUSSIA OR CHINA. (Whoops, sorry.) Anyway! Thus begins what is a phenomenally dim little piece in the Los Angeles Times this week. Salty! Freely used! Unlike in New York City or London, where in our fine English language we never speak in slang. (What would that trashy Charles Dickens make of this? Hell, what would Evelyn Waugh say?) Here's the deal: nearly all other Spanish-speaking people hate both Mexican common words and slang, and the sounds of Mexican Spanish itself. They think it's coarse and low-class talk, and they will tell you to your face straight-up that your Spanish sounds "gross" to their refined, classist ears. And English-speaking people don't much like it either, though they're largely deaf to the connotations—they just hear it as servant-talk, or as cartoon Mexican babbling. So, neato, here is this look at The Wacky World of How Them There Mexicans Talk, from America's saddest newspaper, which by the way, is based in a Spanish-speaking town, not that you could tell from this. But don't worry, white people! There's only 112 million Mexicans in Mexico, and 30 million in the U.S. I'm sure you'll get used to the coarse and degrading sounds of Mexico, vato.
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011