The Monolingual Manifesto, English Speaking Version

I refuse to learn any language which has gender. What a waste!

They say all languages and orthographies are “equal” (of course, they say every fucking thing is equal nowadays, and I’m glad they do—saved my ass from clear inferiority) and yet think of all those wasted keystrokes by poor French secretaries and clericals. So much premature arthritis in the fingers! It’s the French equivalent of Black Lung disease (shhh), and it all could have been avoided with a 3000-year-old invention called phonetics. Even still, French spelling bees are won by Indo-French kids.

The other problem with French is that the language itself is so mellifluous that it makes everything sound like love poetry–“I’m taking a dump” in French sounds better than “What a pretty butterfly!” in German (butterfly in German = schmettelinge, to us something you cough up when you’re sick).

And that’s bad. Yes, bad. Not equal, bad: when your ordinary speech is beautiful by itself, it takes away half the motivation to come up with beautiful or incisive thoughts. No wonder French philosophy is so distracted by the surfaces of language and representation–they got the best surface!

Money talks in France just like anywhere else, but apparently bullshit doesn’t walk very far: it strolls and saunters along the boulevard to the admiration of other BS-artists, BS-critics and BS-theorists.

But human variety is good so we love ‘em—over there, in their place, scared of Germany, disdainful of England, in love with the third world and the colonies they kept there for no reason except to mess up America. Or, if they’re here, in such a small minority they dare not act like themselves. Cultural diversity is great until yours becomes just another dead specimen. In Canada they got a reservation for French people called Quebec or “Le Rez” to them: Don’t let the sun set on your fish-white English-speaking ass up there! But if your English-speaking ass is brown, don’t worry at all—they’re very enlightened about race.

THAT, sir—is a digression–a digression, and then a repetition of a digression followed by a self-referential referential repe- kshsh!… (system restore)…oh, slow boot…shit, windows is updating the previous update again…ok, here we go:

Gender has got to be Language’s biggest folly. As a last gasp of Anglo-American imperialism, let’s try to expunge gender from the languages of continental Europe. Come on Anglo-America, we still got it in us—and they know it would be good for them! I’d rather they imitated us in that regard than listened to rap. So let’s not use rap in our mind-warp campaign, how bout:

     One definite article to rule them all,
     One indefinite article to find them,
     (unless the phonemes clash, then use the other one)
     One form for each beast and thing
     One pronoun to describe them!

Perhaps Tolkien is too Anglo to win them over, so instead we could dress it up as women’s liberation or equality or some High Minded Guilt Trip to which Europeans are so susceptible. We’ll use some Frank Luntz verbal-jitsu techniques and call gender in language “sexist grammar” to really make them feel guilty until they abandon it…

Then, maybe then, I’ll learn your language.

© Alan Brech, 2012

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