Killing a language

‘Going forward, the bottom line is we’re killing a language’ by Don Watson (refer previous post) is an edited extract from ‘Worst words: a compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon’ (Vintage, Australia). Read the article in ‘The Weekend Australian Magazine of 31 Oct.-1 Nov. 2015.

I have long felt that the education of my children and grandchildren did not adequately emphasise the expressiveness of the English language (now a universal language). Language is not only a carrier of meaning; it also conveys the values of a culture.

How could Britain’s education of colonial students offer a lexicon of so much more subtlety in meaning than the vocabulary of modern-day Australia?

One’s reading naturally influences one’s use of words – whether spoken or written. Were the reading lists chosen by teachers, as well by young readers, the limiting factor?

When I spoke to my writing group (which included 2 retired school teachers) about the value of classical British writers, I was told they were passé! Dumbing-down seems to be in fashion.