Monday, January 30, 2006

Hillary Clinton: A New Dialect?

We're all aware of Hillary Clinton's "Plantation" remarks, but Mark Goldblatt exposes the true indignity of Senator Clinton's display. Goldblatt discusses the omission of "g" when lecturing her audience with, "You know what I'm talkin about." That omission is part of a dialect referred to as African-American English. (Rhea Paul,2001)

Where is it that people like Hillary get the notion to do such things? It could be her self-serving alteration of an essential linguistic tool. The linguistic term code switching refers to an often necessary action in which individuals speaking more than one language or dialect engage to make themselves better understood. The individual may use their native dialect at home and the broadly accepted standard in professional settings. According to my understanding of the concept, it is an effective device in allowing those of another culture to maintain their own cultural identity while navigating successfully in the mainstream. Properly done, the act of code switching enables one to perform optimally in all societal roles. Last time I checked Senator Clinton was not an African American. In fact, I believe that it is her warped sense of cultural concern that justifies putting on someone else's dialect. I believe that she views the ignorant masses as misunderstanding concepts like code switching. I assert that folks like Hillary misunderstand the concept completely.