Sat | Sep 30, 2023

Elevating Patois will only keep us back

Published:Tuesday | October 22, 2019 | 12:10 AM


The last line of Lipton Matthews’ article ‘Slavery is a scapegoat for the failures of the political and intellectual classes’ in yesterday’s Gleaner says it all. Elites have turned our country into a third-rated place. They have elevated Patois and subverted standard English.

Will someone please ask them:

How will Patois help us develop our country? How will Patois help our young people read and write standard English when all around them they hear nothing but broken English? How will Patois help tourists communicate with us? How will Patois help our country become the place to live, work, learn and retire? How will Patois bring in more investors to our country? How will Patois help us gain and keep traction on the global stage?

When big tech companies like Google, Amazon, etc, go looking for educated people, they turned to India in the past, a well-educated country. Now that India is saturated, they are turning to Africa. Africa has become a country of well-educated people. Will they turn to Jamaica one day? Not if we keep elevating Patois.

Patois used to be seen as a language spoken by slaves and the uneducated class. It still is. Let’s get serious about solving the real problems in this country. Elevating Patois will only add to those problems.