I’m currently outside my usual routine, having spent a month away from New Zealand. Today I’m traveling home from China where I’ve spent the last ten days. In this post I’m recycling an idea I wrote about several years ago in another context, on the subject of language, based on a song from a New Zealand band called The Mutton Birds. Being an English-only speaker in China has reminded me of this song, as well as listening to a Mutton Birds live album at my kiwi friends’ place in Beijing yesterday. Listen to the track:
“The queens English was good enough for Jesus Christ and it’s good enough for me”
According to the song, this was the supporting argument of a US Congressman who was a guest on a talk show on the subject of “language”. Among other things, this guy is a xenophobe, and wants the whole world to speak his language. You could say he has an inexcusable naivety merged with arrogance and ignorance – and that makes for a really good song.