Linguistic cleansing

El llibreter quotes and comments a couple of marginalia re the Catalan purification project undertaken at the beginning of the last century by Pompeu Fabra and others, with varying degrees of xenophobia, folklorism, medievalism, and sundry other fuckedintheheadisms. I find it curious that furies continue to be focussed on the big brother, Spanish, when the major neologising influence on the language is now English (even if Spanish-language culture is still often the point of entry).

Dutch linguistic paranoids of the nineteenth century indulged in similar campaigns against their big brother, German, but have now progressed to fighting English–see for example this site and the deliciously puritanical League against loanwords.

When will the Cataloonies wake up to the fact that it is people like me, and not a couple of elderly flag-wavers in Extramadura, who are bent on destroying that which they hold most dear?

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  1. In my small enclave of castillian purity, the word ‘conformar’ refers to a thing you do with a pair of sheers once an olive sapling matures enough to be given its final and definitive shape. You might want to add that to your collection.

  2. In Spanish “conform” tends to be transitive while in English it tends to non-. I’m sure this is completely unrelated to the fact that various Spanish political entities take it on themselves to finance and impose identity, while in England you can, if you want, pay a couple of quid to go and drink orange squash at a folk dance club on Monday night.

  3. I’m really surprised that you have misunderstood everything in my post. I’m sure you can find more sensationalist headlines in other kind of blogs. Don’t desperate.

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