21 Jun 2008

Our dialect

We Trinis (and I include Tobagonians) speak a unique language. I have to say, it is rather efficient in saying things we mean. If I say a minister of government is dotish, then you get my meaning clearly.

Writing Trini speech is another ball game. I write dialect in my posts sometimes, and while I think I do it well, others may think otherwise. I simply write the way I would speak if I were communicating with another Trini.

Still, even dialect must follow some rules. Essentially, we must write as we speak, even if grammatically incorrect. On the other hand, grammatical errors are unforgivable if we don't speak that way. So 'irregardless' is incorrect, both in Queen's English and slang. "Wey yuh dey?" is more natural than "Wey yuh is?"

Which brings me to a point. Lisa Agostini-Allen writes in dialect, but to use "could of" instead of "coulda" or "could have"? Another unpardonable mistake. Because no self-respecting Trini I ever met would want to sound as uneducated and ignorant as that. We KNOW it's wrong.

Is like ah Trini saying "com-fought-able" to try to pretty up or socialise "comfortable". Some things just aren't right.