Dear Oxford Dictionary,
I still love you. I really do. I still fervently refer to you, which is why even when the world insists that the word ‘slay‘ has to do with « killing it » in the fashion world(don’t cringe that is exactly what it tells me), I tell it that ‘slaying’ has to do with princes destroying dragons in dark lands. Princes saving princesses. Because that is when that word stuck in my 5 year old mind. So for me, to convince myself that a word means something which you don’t expound baffles me.
But what confuses me most really is that I thought a language was constant. That a concoction of syllables that are commonly used does not qualify them to be a valid English word, but rather slang.Why should we wake up one day to discover that we dictated what should be contained in your pages? The other day, you included the word ‘booty » within your list of acceptable words.This is why I write to you today. That could have been acceptable. But I refuse to accept that tomorrow I will wake up and the phrases ‘yaaas‘, ‘bae’, ‘doe‘,’can’t even’ , ‘swerve’ will exist within you.
I am no English man and this is probably why I don’t understand these changes. But I have a preposition for you my friend. If you do expand yourself to include these words that I barely understand, may we include vernucular words? It will then be a win-win situation for us all.
My clansmen back in Lwengo will be able to hold full ‘English’ conversations with the aristocrats in England and Scotland. ;Wolokoso‘, ‘dirtening‘, ‘Mazongonto‘ and the like will instill confidence with which we, the people from the Lwengo district will tell our stories in the Queen’s language. It is only then that 90% of us that sit for the pre-entry law exams to Makerere will attain the pass mark. It is only then that we shall be able to refer to Tamale Mirundi as a source of knowledge in our literature lessons. ‘Curiche‘ (refer to cliche) will be valid too.
#TBT won’t be Throw Back Thursday anymore. It will be ‘Tudayo Buli Thursday.’ ‘#Ebikwata ku kiro ekyayise » will replace #About Last Night. This will also mean that those surveys that have stated that a p.7 student in a U.P.E school is at the same level as a P.1 student in a private owned school will greatly reduce. Our teachers in these U.P.E schools and U.S.E schools will not suffer the embarrasment of being told that their skills are inadequate.
What you will benefit? A people who admire the Queen’s language more than they do their own.(If we don’t already). The English language will be more diverse. It will make you more relatable to us in our struggle to master a language that still gives us trouble, down in my village in Lwengo. And yes, we shall want to purchase more of you meaning that you’ll be more widely travelled.
If my suggestions sound outrageous to you, how about you stop confusing me too? If you decide that I have ‘taken leave of my senses’, I suggest we make a pact. That soon, when my nieces and nephews solicit my help in their homework that I will refer to you with confidence that their words that they enunciate with such vehemence will be as good as non-existent.
Otherwise I think I’m clinging to something whose concept I do not fully understand. It might not be fully your fault, but all these words that roll up and down my phone screen have me confused. I had mastered a form of the language only to learn that my form is too old-fashioned. That it is worn just like the dog ears that you bare. What do you think I should do?