PATOIS FOR THE PEOPLE

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR,

Dear Editor

Patois for the People

I cannot understand with all the criticism they are receiving Professors at the UWI  cannot switch their interest to some other language, say French, Spanish (Most likely) or even Portuguese, which would help our Olympic Effort in Brazil in 2016, and why we spend our time arguing over what is not;  and why a subject like patois? ( of which most countries have, but they call it ‘slang’)

The Minister of Education of Barbados has suggested, quite intelligently, that Spanish is the logical choice for Caribbean People, as we are close to Central and South America, and our business in exports would have wider options.

But Some Professors of English in Jamaica have chosen Patois as the ‘sine qua non’ language, so much so a recent blogger called English “Our second language”. So the proposal stays:  “Patois” is the language, with English being the second, choosing a language which has no practical use, as a front for culture. The reason being that there is a long history and culture in its development.

Then we have a patois bible, which when presented to students the main response was “I can’t make any sense of this”. Then there is a request for the public to fund the teaching of this in our prep schools.

As far as I can see none of the prep  schools I know wants this dialogue taught in their schools. But if you insist that the Patois Bible is acceptable, sell as many as you can to raise the funds and finance your own project. If you can’t, then the acceptability of the project is non-existent, or the validity of your presentation is disingenuous. Can Patois be considered a language? C.O.D. maintains that language has rules of spelling and grammar of which it is composed;  it has a system of grammar, of expression, and of syntax.  Patois does not  have a system to which may be added a new word, group of words, and thereafter construct orderly expression, it does not conform to any specific rules;  is not a dialect, which is defined in a similar fashion.  So there is no rule which may define these ‘ad hoc’ conversations, except to call them a “ slang”, which is a group of words put to-gether and intended to portray a message. This message can be given in so many ways, by different people, using similar but inconsistent dialogue.

Finally, distributing or selling a product involves a market. What is the market? It seems to be that of prep schools, Government and Private, are around accepting the children. In the final analysis It is the parents of the children that will decide if this subject is required, because they have to spend the money. If it appears of doubtful use they will discard it from their list, especially if they discern this subject matter is a waste of time, and a distraction.

From my point of view, I will advocate other languages for my children, not this barrier to communication and corruption of the English Language, which has become the most commonly used language in the world at this time.

Ramesh Sujanani

rsujanani78@gmail.com

RAISING WAGES NOW {print]

Dear Editors, It seems I am being instructed not to write this letter now. It is my opinion that the workers in our society are suffering from intense poverty, which need to be alleviated. Hence I write my reasons.   Andre who was not available, suggested that I send it to Gleaner letters.

          RAISING WAGES NOW

There is an article in today’s Gleaner which comes from the head of the IMF’s mission  to Jamaica, Mr. Martijn, which indicates that the IMF wants no wage increases in Jamaica at the current time;  as this would  upset the financial budget.

Irrespective, it has been 3 to 4 years government and civil service employees  have had no increase in pay to deal with rising inflation; Minimum wages have been limited to 10%. The pressure to survive has become extreme, poverty is increasing, and the crows of heaven are hungrily looking at their prey.

On both sides of this equation everyone starves to death; unemployment is rising, adolescents leaving school have little future prospects in work and service,  better educated employees seek to migrate. Only certain political candidates seem to gaining weight, and making fancy visits overseas and spending money on irrelevant causes, like climate change and climate monitoring (The Riverton City Dump; consider Min Housing, and Environment and Environmental disaster at  its Riverton Dump).

 The City dump is currently on fire from neglect by the climate monitors and their administrators. This result is concurrent with opinions that the dump is poorly managed and monitored.

In an interesting   article about wage freeze policy, Paul Krugman a senior economist at  NY Times, pointing out that a wage freeze austerity measure may result in opposite effects: Productive slowdown,  in many  U.S. companies (after some experiences), are occurring with more regularity than expected.

Paying workers better will lead to better morale, higher productivity, and lesser turnover of employees.

Significant pay increases across the board for millions of American workers may be contrary to public thinking: So the answer is raise minimum above expectations; allow workers to organize, direct fiscal and monetary policy towards full employment. If this is done, major steps towards a society beneficial to stability and peace will take place.

The fact being that extreme inequality is a tool of the market, and change may now be invoked if and when ever management requires.

Conservatives in the past have always maintained that a wage increase is always a market driven product; the law of supply and demand determines the level of wages, and the market will punish those who betray its rules.

One of the strangest experiences belong to the largest Companies in the World, which had been at the forefront of the world, the Walmart group. After many years of keeping the no wage increase policy,  Walmart announced it will be raising pay for half a million workers just a few days ago:

Now this change will affect whole communities, simply because there will be a significant spill-over effect, and this may spread to many other Companies in the same region. Moreover the example set is the choice made, that Companies the size of Walmart can and will make the right decision; that allow a low-wage company to boost morale, with increased turnover.

This  shows that pay raises may be planned for millions of workers, than would have been thought. This enables better organization of labour, direct fiscal and money policies, tending to promote full employment.

Then the society will  make the point that extreme inequality are results of a choice made, not a driven option of the market.

(532 words)

©Ramesh Sujanani

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Walmart announced it will be raising pay for half a million workers just a few days ago:

Now this change will affect whole communities, simply because there will be a significant spill-over effect, and this may spread to many other Companies in the same region. Moreover the example set is the choice made, that Companies the size of Walmart can and will make the right decision; that allow a low-wage company to boost morale, with increased turnover.

This now shows that pay raises may be planned for millions of workers, than would have been thought. This enables better organization of labour, direct fiscal and money policies, tending to promote full employment.

Then the society will  make the point that extreme inequality are results of a choice made, not a driven option of the market.

(532 words)

©Ramesh Sujanani

Click here to Reply or Forward

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