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Re: [WMASTERS] What we are doing.
For a modern linguist, the most "debased" Madras dialect is no more or less
correct than the most high-blown formal Centamiz. This is not to say that
we should write only Madras Tamil. But if we want to report conversations
in that dialect, we should do so, not attempt to turn it into something it
is not. I have been consistently amazed at how Tamils refuse to recognize
and appreciate the richness of their language. Without black English,
American English would be poorer. The same is true with the "debased"
Madras Tamil -- it adds to and enhances the richness and expressive powers
of the language.
There are, of course, conventions for writing Tamil (and English).
Obviously, if someone from an inner city applies for a job and writes in
his own dialect of black English, it will make a bad impression. Same with
Madras Tamil (or Cockney English). But that doesn't mean we feel black
English or Madras Tamil is debased and has no place in literary works. We
need to create a standard where all sorts of Tamil can be expressed.
Obviously, we're not going to change conventions about how to write or use
Tamil. Why should we? GH
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