Nobody gives a damn about English.

It is only when you note the time and money devoted to preserving the French language in different parts of the world, that you start to wonder. Is the English language so pervasive that nobody worries about it? Only the dictionary publishers seem to have a vested interest so they can produce new editions periodically.

But why do we get the feeling that the English language is going downhill in a bucket and nobody cares? If you wander around the United States for too long, you will be convinced that the Americans are separating it into about six distinct languages, with hundreds of regional dialects thrown in. While in Canada, the late Don Harron, turned listening to rural Ontario accents into a comedic career as the raconteur and writer character of Charlie Farquarson.

Getting on topic here is tough. What started this rant was our complaint last week about Canada’s parliament not knowing the difference between a phobia and bigotry. The difference is simple: a phobia needs help and bigotry needs a spanking. A phobia is a morbid fear while bigotry is usually just based on ignorance.

It was very difficult to watch our federal politicians arguing over the wording of a simple motion (having no more authority than a ‘Like to Have’) rather than dealing with the real problem. And by the way folks, there is little you can do about bigots until what they are communicating passes from freedom of speech into a hate crime.

But there was no argument in the Ontario Legislature. The Liberals there put the same motion as their federal counterparts before that house and the two opposition parties got immediately in line to pass it. This was almost a welcome relief after the rancorous debates earlier in the Legislature over electricity distributors’ cut-offs and pricing. All we usually hear from Queen’s Park is about electricity costs and that nobody seems to have a clue about what to do about it.

At least with this motion, the New Democrats jumped to agree to the Islamophobia motion as they had nothing else to do. Patrick Brown of the Ontario Conservatives supported the motion with his usual hypocrisy. When it costs nothing to look good, he is in favour of it. He is unlikely to know whether the wording is correct.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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