Hitting Back

Here’s a little something to make your day:

A linguistics and education professor from Michigan State University claims that telling somebody that you can’t understand him is an example of “linguistic racism.”
More specifically, it’s “racist” to ask a person to repeat what he said because you “don’t understand [his] thick accent.”
Another example is someone “openly say[ing] only English is to be spoken in the workplace” despite the presence of multilingual employees.

This is one time where I wish I was still back in college, and specifically, at Michigan State in this little turd’s class.

Because from then on, I would only speak to him in Afrikaans, and submit all my papers in Afrikaans.  Then, if he attempted to change or penalize that, I would label him a linguistic racist and file disciplinary charges against him, using his own precept as the basis.


    1. Hell, let’s see how he handles a call to his major credit card company’s Customer No-Service line to dispute a charge.

      1. “Customer Service, Bank of Whatever. Your call is important to us – We’re not happy, until you’re not happy. How may I misdirect your call?”

  1. Years ago, my friend tried to institute some English language training for doctors at his hospital to help patients better understand what they were saying. I will never forget he was accused of “cultural imperialism”, mostly by doctors from “Injia’s sunny clime”.

    1. After trying to deal with Medicare “customer service” I found it was easier to understand people from Bangalore than people from Baltimore.

  2. You’d be then guilty of “cultural appropriation”. White men are not permitted to speak the languages of people of colour.

    Rather than engaging in semantic food fights with morons, I rip ‘em the bird and tell them to get fucked.

    1. Nope, Afrikaans is a white man’s language, basically west German, ie Dutch, Flemish, Frisian with some borrowed words from all over.

      My family is from Friesen in Germany, I can speak, badly, their version of low German. I went to university with a South African guy and we used to chat in our similar dialects to the befuddlement of all. Good times.

      So, if the loons take power while I’m still alive, I’ll brush up my platt-Deutsch and submit my tax returns accordingly.

  3. I worked at a jazz station once upon a time where one of my coworkers was an insufferable leftist prick (but I repeat myself). Jazz geeks like to know EVERYONE who’s playing on the record so we always run down all the personnel. He complained to the boss about my inauthentic pronunciation of an Hispanic name. My retort that I don’t speak Spanish didn’t get a lot of love. I went to HR & filed a formal complaint against the ENTIRE staff for their pronunciation of my surname. In Polish, W is often enunciated as you would an F. That no one ever does that on the Fruited Plain is irrelevant. How dare you disrespect my ancestry. No one ever said another word about my spanglish after that.

    1. One of my old Navy buddies used to laugh at the various pronouncements of his name — Zdrojewski

  4. Back when I was in grad school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an imported from the east coast news reporter would routinely mispronounce a common Mexican last name–Vigil (pronounced “vi-heel”. He, of course, would pronounce it “VI-jill).

    It was a running gag at the station and since about every 9th person in New Mexico had the last name of Vigil, it came up on the air at least 3-5 times a month. Finally, a local politician (not named Vigil, but related to some) complained to station management and he got suspended for a couple of days.

    A week later, he’s back on the job looking a little humbled and offers an apology. Not 5 minutes later, he’s doing a report on an extended hostage-taking event in the South Valley and here comes the lede:
    “Albuquerque police end a 12-hour vi-heel and rescue two hostages…more from our reporter live at the scene of the vi-heel.”

    I think he moved to Omaha from there.

  5. I used to work on a helpdesk on the overnight shift. It meant that rather than us calling and getting India where we couldn’t understand them, it was India calling us, and we couldn’t understand them. Sorta. We’d usually manage to muddle through. It was while working there that I learned the wonderful Indianism “Please do the needful.”

    One particular story comes to mind though…. One of my agents got a call from India and asked the guy the typical troubleshooting questions. but the guy kept saying “I don’t understand, please repeat.” After a couple of minutes, my agent mentally threw up his hands and affected a fake Indian accent…. and then the guy understood him perfectly, so they were able to successfully complete the call.

    It goes both ways, no?

    1. Used to work for a major retailer with the main No Help Desk located in the Philippines. Corporate technology updates were frequent, and each change brought a new set of problems. We would call the Philippines, answer the usual “who are you, where are you, what is your problem” questions, then we would be put on hold while they connected us with local tech help (who we could not call, as Corporate level decreed that all tech problems MUST go through the Helpless Desk.) Very often, they were not aware that changes had been made and did not have access to the new techie manuals. Local techs, who did all the hardware installs and software upgrades, had all the manuals.

  6. When I get folks who sound like they are not from Texas or even within a thousand miles of Texas I ask them if they eat dogs. Then I ask them if the sun is shining where they are and how are they doing and what part of Texas are they from. One guy in the Philippines was a lot of fun and he told me he wanted to come to America and go to Amarillo and eat a huge steak for free. Another nice lady told me she had relative in Houston and would love to visit Texas and then she helped me with my problem. These are really just some decent working people trying to do their jobs and even if I can’t understand them I respect folks who are working, except for asking me about my car warranty.

  7. When I was a kid working for a hardware store where the owner owned a Propane Yard, lots of propane in big tanks and I worked for a few days with some casual labor black guys hired to clear a lot of brush and grass out I went home talking a lot of black dialect, you can pick that stuff up and it is not too far from plain old Southern Speech. Years ago, to Yankee ears there was not a whole lot of difference in our speech patterns but that was over five decades ago.

    1. Yep, when I lived in New Jersey for four very long, horrible years, I mostly hung out with the black guys at work because I had more in common with them, especially food wise, than I did with the Yankee white folks.

      1. Exactly, I never found black guys hard to talk to or deal with in the old days, going back about 30 year ago, they were just people then.

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