Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Leaba

Gerry Adams
Click on any image for a larger version

I am getting totally pissed off with the token use of bastard Irish.

As this is an equal opportunities blog, I should mention previous criticism of both FG an FF in an earlier post, just in case anyone should think I'm having a pop at Gerry Adams and him alone. I have also taken various bodies (eg) to task over their appalling use of the language in the past.

But Gerry Adams gives it an almost daily trashing in his tweets and this is coming from someone who purports to hold the language dear and have its compulsory use enshrined in Northern Ireland legislation. I needn't point out that pushing the language in the North is even more fraught than promoting it in the South. This is particularly the case when the language is being politicised and used as a silver bullet in the (decommissioned?) armed struggle for Irish unity. Nelson McCausland can testify more eloquently than I in this regard.

I have included a few of Gerry's recent tweets below to illustrate my point. Correct versions of booboos are shown in italics below the tweets.

oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé, beannachtaí

Daidí na Nollag, sásta

an spéir, an ghrian, ar fad

an ghaoith láidir, an ghrian gheal


oíche, bonne nuit

Now I know the Taoiseach has stated that the next election will effectively be a choice between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin, and his Minister for Foreign Affairs has endorsed this most forcefully in a very gender specific and possibly personally offensive way.

I really am surprised, however, that the Taoiseach, who is reputed to be a fluent Irish speaker, seems to be descending to the level of Gerry Adams's Irish in the current phoney election campaign.

Reproduced below is his entry in the Charlie Hebdo book of condolence at the French embassy.

At least he got his French right, unlike Gerry in the last of the tweets above.

muintir na hÉireann, as ucht na tragóide uafásaí

All this garbage Irish reminds me forcibly of George Orwell's NEWSPEAK in 1984. The purpose of that restricted version of the English language was to limit people's ability to think outside a very restrictive and politically correct range of concepts. Current English usage, not only in social media, but in the mainstream media, is already sadly well along this road.

The current use of Irish in many quarters is simply a bad and clumsy transliteration of English. It strips the language of its richness and historical resonances and limits its net contribution to alternative and challenging viewpoints.

If the Irish language is not going to be taken seriously and treated with respect it should just be abandoned to the dustbin of history.

And the title of this post?

Well, the leaba is where Gerry tells us he ends up every night and it is one word in Irish that he always spells correctly.

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