Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. -Terry Pratchett-

don’t mind my previous post. studies do show that venting is healthy. it was either here or to her face, and we all know that i’m just too nice for that:p

here is something worth a look at: should dewan bahasa dan pustaka close shop?

you see, dbp claims that the malay language is deteriorating and this is because of the infringement of the english language.

Sebelum Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), Kementerian Penerangan ‘polis’ bahasa yang berkanun tampil ke depan, telah mengambil tindakan untuk mengharamkan beberapa buah lagu Melayu atas alasan pencemaran bahasa.

Di pihak yang lain, Menteri Kesenian, Kebudayaan dan Warisan, Datuk Dr Rais Yatim juga mengisytihar perang terhadap penggunaan bahasa rojak supaya “bahasa kebangsaan dijamin tidak tercabul dan keutuhannya dihormati oleh semua generasi.”

Resolusi terbabit menyatakan perlunya memberikan kuasa pentadbiran kepada DBP, biar pun ia seolah-olah meletakkan badan berkanun tersebut sebagai ‘polis’ atau penguatkuasa bahasa. Bagi mengatasi masalah kerancuan bahasa atau bahasa pijin, Dr Awang Sariyan, Pengarah Jabatan Bahasa DBP, menyarankan perlunya ditubuhkan Jabatan Audit Bahasa.

Bersama-sama ledakan gelombang globalisasi seperti tersebut di atas, makin hari makin banyak istilah bahasa Inggeris yang telah dipinjam, diubahsuai, dicampuraduk dan digunakan serentak dengan atau menggantikan penggunaan istilah bahasa Melayu yang sedia wujud.

the problem with this statement is that it totally goes against the natural evolution of a language. these people have the noble aim in keeping the malay language as pure as possible, but what they fail to understand that in order for a language to progress in effectiveness and sophistication, it need to be allowed to evolve. i have said it once and twice and i would say it a million times more, language evolution is not a bad thing! it is perfectly natural. language borrowing and coining happens all the time across all languages. it is how a language get equiped with what it needs to stay relevant with times.

and don’t worry, the malay language isn’t being poisoned or would evolve into a pidgin (a new language through the influences of two or more existing languages). and if it does, it would probably have a greater economic relevance than the current malay language because the malay language’s growth is being stunned. do we really expect to be using the same type of malay as we use now years and years to come?

and it accordance with the parallel linguistic link to a society’s progress and vice versa, do we not see the economic value of the malay language deteriorating? and at the same time, do we not see the progress of people who speak pure malay i.e. without the borrowed words and add-on words from other languages falling behind? dbp has to realize that when you try to block the growth of a language, you block the growth of a culture. you are the dudes that stop the progress of the language’s culture, how can you then blame the people from having a greater preference for the english language? i mean, if the malay language lacks the vocabulary that a person wants to express, won’t it be just natural for people to express themselves in a language that does have that expressive facility?

and here’s a point to ponder by Datuk Johan Jaaffar:

Bahasa Inggeris tidak ada sebuah DBP untuk “membina dan mengembangkan bahasa”, tetapi bahasa Inggeris tetap berkembang begitu pesat dan menjadi bahasa ilmu dan komunikasi penting dunia. Apakah sebabnya tidak ada “fatwa”yang mengganggu-gugat pertumbuhannya seperti Academie Francaise bagi bahasa Perancis dan DBP bagi bahasa Melayu?

actually, he lied. well, somewhat. the english language does have the british council and the dudes at oxford who feel that they know a lotta. but the difference with them is that they actually allow the entrance of new words into the english vocabulary. how is it that more and more people are finding it easier to express themselves in english than in malay? well, where the kamus dewan is one volume long (i stand to be corrected here), the complete volumes of the oxford english dictionary are shelves and shelves long, and this is excluding the medical terms and technological goobledygook.

(and if you are wondering what the bc and oxford are trying to control, it is grammar… use of double negatives etc…).

yesterday, we carried on with our discussion of historical linguistics. zach joined us in class. thank god the swedish banana preacher i.e. saiful was absent. between me, jacky, zach and william, we completely brought the class down. william was disturbing shan. they have been on each other’s throats ever since research methods class last week. the lecturer was cool enough to let us argue among ourselves (rather passionately) about the principles of language change, as long as we did not diverge too much into taking cheap shots at each other.

i’ve noticed something worth noting in my postgrad classes: that the peeps in the m.a. classes are so much cooler than those preppy peeps in the undergrad classes. i mean, i remember undergrad classes where everyone sits in cliques, and these cliques are usually racially and gender influenced. when it comes to do group assignments or presentations, everyone picks people of their own race or gender to work with, and rare does anyone chill out or have casual conversation with peeps from a different clique. and if one member of the clique does not come for class, the rest of them does not turn up either.

but things are a world of difference in postgrad. people are individuals, not cliques of people. everyone has their own voice and everyone has their own opinion. we all openly express out agreements or disagreements with everyone else. it is like we are all friends in class. we can hang out together and relate stories to whoever who would listen. we share stories about family, about work, about studies… everyone is just very mature about things. everyone sits at different places and with different people every week. like this week i sat with jacky. last week i sat with karim. the week before was with the swedish banana preacher. everyone is very together-gether, but at the same time, very individually sound.

i followed my boss to meet a client in phileo damansara yesterday afternoon. seminar class was cancelled because dr chan was still on leave. i got lost somewhere in pj. yes, my sense of direction is that bad. i mean, everything is in subang already, so i hardly every ventur out to pj or kl, except for work. i know my way to work and back. anything beyong that is uncharted territory for me.

i followed them to the client’s place simply to experience first hand how managerial negotiations go. i was just an observer, but i got to listen in on the meeting. okay la. i was personally more interested in their use of paralinguistic devices, which was safely defensive as it is just their first meeting.

anyway, some things are happening in the varsity debate world that i’m not too happy about but i’m trying not to butt into the present controversy. i keep telling myself that what is happening in the mdl league is no longer any of my business. i personally agree with hafiedz that some people could actually take debating more seriously. i’m glad that dolphin-boy and praba are in on the act now.

other than the fact that my inbox is spammed with about 10 of the mdl controversy related emails, it is not affecting me much and i’m happy to take all this as an observer in a spectator’s sport.

oh, i’ve signed up for the 36-hour marathon debate to be held 9-10 october at the kl tower. insane or what?!:)


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