It’s Cinco de Mayo, or as many Star Wars geeks know it, the day after May the Fourth (Be With You). In the US we take this day to celebrate Mexican history and the many people who have made our country a more diverse and culturally-rich place to live. We also drink a lot of margaritas. Like, a LOT of margaritas. So take one last sip and listen up, because in the spirit of the day I want to tackle everyone’s favorite topic: grammar!
Are you as excited as I am?
No? Take another drink.
Okay, here we go. As a former Spanish(/English) major, throughout my education I frequently ran into the same question from my English-native classmates: “Why do Hispanic kids get to take Spanish classes?” The suggestion being that the class will somehow be easier for native Spanish speakers than for those learning it as a second language.
The answer to that pervasive and ignorant question? The same reason English-speakers get to take English, which is to say: the vast majority of people, regardless of what language they speak, don’t know the nuances of their native tongue! And as a former English(/Spanish) major THAT DRIVES ME LOCO.
English is being typed out on countless platforms every millisecond of the day, but can native English-speakers really claim complete mastery over the language? Simple typos on Facebook suggest otherwise; THEY’RE making plenty of THEIR own spelling mistakes on THERE! Lack of familiarity with hyphens can turn your fifty-odd daily Tweets into fifty odd daily Tweets. Even if you, your mother, and your father were born in Oxford, England you might not know the ins and outs of the Oxford comma! Maybe you don’t know that prepositions aren’t an okay thing with which to end a sentence! Maybe you find semicolons terrifying; on the contrary, they’re pretty rad!
Just because you can speak a language fluently doesn’t mean you know it like the back of your hand, and sometimes that can lead to disastrous (but admittedly super funny) results. Watch what happens when you forget to add accents in Spanish:
“Mi papá tiene 65 años.”
In this conversation, you’re telling me that your father is 65 years old. Good for him, I hope he’s ready to rock in retirement.
“Mi papa tiene 65 anos.”
In this conversation, on the other hand, you’re informing me that your potato has sixty-five buttholes.
Yes, seriously. Just from neglecting to put a couple squiggles above the A and the N, you’ve horrified a complete stranger and cast some serious doubt on your dietary habits.
So why did I drag you away from the fiesta to rant about grammar? There are so many rules and exceptions to rules: I before E except after C, but is that really a scIEnce? Who even cares?
Well, we do, for one. We know language can be tough sometimes, no matter what the language. At Raidious, we’ve got word nerds chomping at the bit to draft, manage and monitor your social media accounts; we dot your Is and crossing your Ts, so what faces your audience is nothing less than perfection. Think about that once you wake up from your burrito coma, which should be hitting you in 3, 2…
Y si tiene Ud. un problema con los medios sociales, Raidious está aqui para ayudar.
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!