Category Archives: English

Language is not made of letters

In learning linguistics, I find that many of my classmates have a hard time breaking out of the habit of thinking in terms of letters. Literate English speakers seem to have a hard time unlearning the idea that the words they … Continue reading

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Linguistics is an eye-opener!

Or, rather… an ear-opener…? First of all, let me apologise for my absence. Life has been very hectic, what with school and all that. But I’m going to try to be more disciplined from now on. Anyway, since I first … Continue reading

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How Jamaican Creole became a language

It’s been a month since my last blog post, and I apologise for that. Life has been hectic, to say the least. Anyway, I thought I’d restart my regular weekly posts by giving a possible answer to a question I raised … Continue reading

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Thoughts spring from Roots

After hearing my mother refer to the 1977 mini-series Roots as a child, I felt a strong pull towards the History Channel’s remake that premiered this year. About a month ago, I sat with my friend to watch every high and … Continue reading

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A “bills”…?

The Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has a promotion running for the summer. Passengers get $20 dollars off for regular bus routes: “Only a ‘bills’”, the poster says. “Bills” is in quotation marks. As if to identify that it’s not … Continue reading

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Tumeric, what ‘R’ you?

This is turmeric. It is a plant that is scientifically named Curcuma longa. Its roots are ground into a powder that is an ingredient in the making of curry. But I first happened upon it when I was looking into baking, and … Continue reading

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Patwa: Building on the Past

There’s nothing “broken” about Patois. Language evolves, and the result is often a new language altogether. That is what Patois is. Any language can be written; and it is often quite counterproductive to use the writing system of one language and impose it on another. Continue reading

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