Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Dumbing down voters with Patois

Published:Wednesday | December 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have the distinct displeasure in the two-tongued monologue of current and aspiring political leaders. While I have no issue with the Jamaican language, I fail to understand its preferential use by them. Why is the Queen's English used in Parliament, yet the Jamaican language used when addressing constituents?

In some regions, we would call that dumbing down voters, and, in fact, is downright insulting to some. Yes, most discourse in Jamaica is done in the Jamaican language, which is another name for broken English, but let's chose one form and stick with it.

Politicians, by nature, are fickle folks and will generally do or say anything to earn votes. Perhaps we have been at a place where they have to prove their identity with voters by addressing them in broken tongues. Note, broken tongues, or is it forked tongues?

As Jamaicans, we are thriving, or less so, on broken promises from our leaders. We are beset by criminality, a broken justice system and a phony financial system held together by foreign support. Some may view this as effective communication and an easier path to victory in the polls. Yet in Parliament, are we seeking to prove our intellect or are we creating records that most Jamaicans would be unable to understand?

Can we chose one version and stick with it?

PAUL PRINGLE

gimmemebit@yahoo.com