Upang humingi ng tulong sa Tagalog,
Paki tawagan ang numero na nakasulat sa inyong kard.
And hold the mayo.
No, not really.
It’s instructions about health insurance.
Sounds like a game.
Or what a kid does to his older brother.
But it’s not.
It’s an Austronesian language.
Spoken in the Philippines.
By Tagalogs, an ethnic group native to Manila.
So says Trusty Webster.
It defines us.
And confines us.
We’re nicht viel Gluck if somebody speaks another language we don’t know.
English, however, reigns supreme.
That’s a fact.
Ask any linguist.
Or take it from Bill Bryson.
He wrote The Mother Tongue:
English & How It Got That Way.
A friend sent me this book.
A veritable treasure trove overflowing with tantalizing facts.
For instance, four of our weekdays commemorate pagan gods.
In spite of our modern, high-techno, fast-forward Facebook society.
Gods still rule.
Frig (Friday—Frig is Woden’s wife).
Planets rule too.
Saturday honors Saturn.
Sunday, the Sun.
And Monday, the Moon.
Some things never change.
And yet constant change is a Law of Nature.
The only constant is change (Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher, 535-475 B.C.).
And there is no new thing under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
A paradox just like English itself.
Try explaining “through and cough.”
“Slough and slough.”
“Lives and lives.”
Its ability to adapt and absorb keeps it healthy.
Thus, its popularity.
Kudos to English teachers, past and present.
And those in the dotcomfuture.
Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.