English is a living language.

Recently, former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe appeared on Global Television’s West Block program with interviewer Mercedes Stephenson. While I rarely agree with the Bloc or any of its leaders, Duceppe has always amused me with his sly use of the English language. English might not be his first language but I get the impression he knows exactly what he is saying. The other day, he was having fun with the words ‘systemic’ and ‘systematically.’

Duceppe was talking about the argument new democrat leader Jagmeet Singh was having with the Bloc house leader. It was the one that got Singh thrown out of the house of commons.

I also believe you would have a hard time proving that racism pervades all of our Mounted Police operations. And that is what it means if you accuse the Mounties of systemic racism.

And by the way, the word ‘Systémique’ in French means the same.

But people like to take words and change them to meet their bias. Take the word ‘indigenous.’ It means ‘from here.’ Some people want this to include aboriginal peoples from the American continent. What they are really saying is that if your ancestors came to this continent about 15,000 years ago, you might as well say you are from here. I hardly think there will be a vote on this.

It is regrettable that there is no standard for English in Canada. A few of our universities consider this language important but there is little co-ordination in their efforts. Canadian Press which has been supported by some of our news organizations in the past used to put out handy little guides for the media. With the general decline in support for our news media, there is little help today. English and French are both living languages and they are constantly encompassing new words and changing words.

And what makes you think Google knows everything?


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