Tuesday | March 3, 2015

The irony that is Carolyn Cooper

Published:Wednesday | August 8, 2012

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Regular readers of The Sunday Gleaner, and Carolyn Cooper's columns, in particular, may be delighted or amused that she has an op-ed article in the August 5 edition of The New York Times. It is titled 'Who is Jamaica?' and offers a Usain Bolt-like speedy and breathless take on the country's cultural history covering the Arawaks (Tainos), Christopher Columbus, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and aspects of our Constitution, among other things.

To be fair, I don't think it was meant to provide a detailed academic account about Jamaica, but its airiness does leave more aware readers grasping or gasping for oxygen.

What is most interesting is that there was not one 'dege-dege' word in Patwa or Jamaican Creole. Isn't that ironic? Professor Cooper frequently champions the legitimacy of Jamaican Patois as a language in its own right and yet, when provided with a platform in an international newspaper of some repute, she falls back on 'proper' English, the language in which she was educated and wrote her PhD thesis.

'Aah chile, donkey seh the worl nuh level ... .'

Nicely written article, by the way.

JOHN READER