I dislike the evolution (if only it were backwards develop!) of American English language. This became evident at the hotel in the Maldives, where American culture and English has a (negative) impact on much of the staff. Many are from the US colony of Philippines, which produces most the the domestic staff hotel staff for Asia. The country also produces a great deal of US hospital staff, because doctors can make more as a nurse or technician than they do at home.
Anyways, this became evident during a conversation with the girl taking room service orders. Because I did not understand her greeting, I wanted to confirm that I had the right number. The conversation went as follows:
“Yes, Mr. Thomas.” (Typical greeting in much of Asia).
“I would like one club sandwich.”
“Absolutely, Mr. Thomas.”
This threw me a bit, but I recovered quickly, recalling that this is the way stupid American girls butcher the language.
“Uh, and, one coke.”
“Definitely, Mr. Thomas. Let me repeat your order.”
Absolutely? Definitely? What about “Okay”...or “Yes”?
I do not blame the girl. She cannot help picking up bad English from trash US television programs. And, television writers listen to the garbage spoken on the street and at schools, where language is not a priority. Confucius said something about the importance of getting language correct. Too bad Americans never studied The Analects.
I have read the Analects of Confucius (Simon Leys translation) more than once and keep it at my desk. It is well worth reading, even if it does not flow like novel or offer the false excitement of a soap opera.
Although this collected wisdom was conceived twenty-six centuries ago, Confucius remains relevant. Human nature has not changed. Unfortunately, like so much wisdom, it is mostly forgotten, ignored, or unknown. Brother Mao played no small role in this sad fact. And, the man has been denigrated by such foolishness as the child's game: "Confucius says".
I will offer only one small sample, something I have found so apt to anyone writing, reading, or witnessing political diatribe and media reporting. He wrote "...rectify the names. If the names are not correct, language is without an object".
Words (names) are important, then, now, and in the future.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.