Diet of Bilingualism—Didier Cochon SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 3 Contents Measureless Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

Unu Mondo, Unu Lingvo, Sen Kulturo

Tennick Bolson,
Visiting Researcher,
Catskills School for Cat Skills

Your author has been a frequent visitor to Mongolia since 1987 as part of my organization’s remarkably unsuccessful effort to inculcate the love of cats among a people that so universally fears and loathes them. Nonetheless, I have otherwise come to a great admiration for the country and have been perturbed to see many of the least attractive institutions of western culture take root here: Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Fifty Shades of Grey, and KFC. Unfortunately, even worse lies in wait for the unsuspecting Mongols of today!!! On a recent walk to a business meeting, I happened across the following sign:

There is much talk in the modern world of the dangers of cultural imperialism, but what is less recognized is that the imperialism all of these represent is the opposite of “cultural.” To see this, simply ask yourself this: When was the last time you found a book with the note “Translated from Esperanto”? There is not, never has been, and never shall be such a thing, for Esperanto not only has no culture, it is such a dull and deadening language that its very use prevents culture from taking root. It is, in short, the linguistic equivalent of KFC. Just as Cosmo scrapes off the individuality of every person and forces him or her into one of two molds, the Cosmo male and the Cosmo gal (and it is hard to determine which is a greater affront to human dignity), just as Playboy spray-paints over the individuality of every woman who appears in its pages, just as Fifty Shades of Grey recounts really silly things in a variety of English as bastardized as Esperanto, so Esperanto takes the glories of fully human languages, cuts off all the curious and endearing bits, and shapes them into homogenized nuggets dripping with grease that it serves without even the joys of a toy in a Happy Meal boxthat is to say, a flourishing literary culture. The only positive side is that at least it’s not Ido. Or, Heaven forfend, Volapük.

Diet of BilingualismDidier Cochon
Measureless Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
SpecGram Vol CLXXI, No 3 Contents