Frequently on this blog, you see me take a stand in defense of the English language — such as with my regular rants about the verbification of such perfectly-good nouns as “impact.”
Earlier this week, I took a moment to stick up for Spanish. Since I see that it attracted some attention (1,083 impressions), I thought I’d share it here — although you gringos may not be very interested.
Here was the Tweet:
Well, I suspect that for one thing, it doesn’t see itself as a community that uses the nonword “Latinx”… https://t.co/PglDDHObDt
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) December 8, 2021
I almost didn’t post that, because I didn’t want to start an argument on Twitter, and I suspect (but have no data to support the assertion) that people who actually use and like “Latinx” would easily make a Top Five list of People Most Likely to Get Offended.
I only posted it because, well, it was in a headline in The New Yorker. And come on, people, if you can’t trust The New Yorker to respect language — especially English, but other languages as well — then you can’t trust anybody. All is lost.
Anyway, it provoked no argument, which was a relief. In fact, it even picked up a few likes — including from folks who are not on the rightward side of any culture wars over language or gender or ethnicity or such.
Of course, being opposed to “Latinx” should be a pretty noncontroversial position, given that only about a fourth of U.S. Hispanics have even heard of the term, and only 3 percent use it. Or at least, that was the case last year. And personally, I haven’t noticed much movement toward wider acceptance since then.
So, back to where I started: Why on Earth would The New Yorker use it, and not ironically? You’ve got me…