Candice Stewart – Yaadinfo Contributor
I am saddened at the fact that our fellow Jamaicans who continuously argue and fuss about our nation not being able to grasp the English language correctly, have so much fun in subjecting individuals who try to speak the language and fall short. I think it is hypocritical of the members of this country, especially the ones who can utilize standard English well to be making fun of those who unfortunately can not do the same. What irks me even more is that the nation finds it funny when someone who represents a serious cause says a word or phrase that is grammatically incorrect and seem to forget about the real matter at hand.
What we should do is take serious matters seriously and attempt to help them fight for the cause they defend. In addition to that, instead of finding the lighter side of every mispronounced word, phrase or sentence, we need to recognize that the illiteracy problem the nation faces gives rise to such phenomena as “deading” and the acquired accent that has given Mr. Clifton Brown the wrong form of popularity.
It is of my belief that we see and know the problem of our countrymen and women not being able to speak well and represent themselves well via use of the standard English, and we do nothing about it. By laughing at such things and taking it so lightly, we perpetuate a cycle of a nation not being able to speak, read or write well. I say this because as was mentioned before, we see and we know the problem but instead of fixing the problem we look over it with laughter and do nothing. How about, in addition to us making their issues known by all and help them in rectifying their problems we also target them and their community and teach them the language that is supposedly the primary language of our country.
We need to do better than this instead of patronizing individuals who get caught on national television or otherwise speaking incorrectly. What we are saying to them is that they are a dunce set of individuals who cannot speak well. And invariably if you cannot speak well, then you cannot read or write well. I wonder at times if the Jamaicans who laugh at their countrymen and women do not realise that one Jamaican is all it takes to identify the whole country. The videos made, and the quotes uttered tell the world that the country that we live in does not value literacy.
How then do we aim to improve our literacy? It is more than just giving the children who struggle to read more attention or trying different ways and methods of instilling the ways of learning. And then what of the older folks who might not have had the luxury or opportunity of learning how to utilise the English language well?
Not every serious thing that occurs in this country must be turned into a joke. It does not hurt to be serious some of the time.