Thursday, May 16, 2002

SPANISH WITH A GEORGIA TWIST: Is there something about old Southern men that makes them incapable of sounding like anything other than old Southern men when they speak foreign languages? In college my friends and I used to cringe every time the university vice-chancellor spoke at convocation and graduation, both of which were conducted primarily in Latin. Most of us didn't understand Latin, but we were pretty sure Caesar never spoke it the way the VC did. I also don't understand much Spanish, but listening to Jimmy Carter's speech to the Cuban people -- given "all in Spanish" as NPR incessantly reminded listeners -- I was pretty sure Spanish was never intended to sound that way.

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