Re: goody, writing, consciousness etc

N.R.M. Bethel (nrmb100@CUS.CAM.AC.UK)
Sun, 13 Oct 1996 02:40:41 +0100

in reply to ron's question -

> A question: when I was in Nassau a few years ago (Society for Caribbean
> Linguistics meeting), the use of Creole English was officially prohibited on the
> radio (and television?). Is this still the case?

interesting you should bring that up. no it's not still the case - my
guess is that the prohibition would have been lifted not long after you
were there - public outcry against the ban was such that the government
revoked it. it seems to me that there was a particular political reason
for the ban, too, but i'll have to dig around in my memory to see if i can
come up with it ... it was a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the
government, i seem to remember that, with regard to criticisms about
education standards and schoolchildren failing english. if that was what
prompted the ban, then there is an awful kind of 'logic' in the banning of
Creole from the airwaves! at that time, too, there were several newspaper
columns in Creole, which don't exist anymore - the result of another kind
of politics. what is very interesting about the "falling" standards of
English in the Bahamas, though, is that many of the same students who
struggle with the standard (whose grammar and construction is sufficiently
familar to them, and yet so crucially different, that they are often
totally lost as to what is 'correct' in the standard and what is not) are
highly articulate in the Creole. that point first struck me while i was a
teacher of English in high scools, and it was one of the things that
inspired my research.

thanks for bringing the ban on dialect back to my mind - i'll
have to think about it because it certainly has bearing on my research!