Momma Tongue

varient of the Hot Lips logo by John Pasche

Momma Tongue

There are five times as many Yankees
Speaking English as the English,
So who’s English do you think will win ?
Whatever the linguistic tankies wish,
We’re just a little fish –
Perhaps it’s time to take it on the chin ?
Or, to be overt (and probably incite your wrath) –
You do the math !

Ow !, that hurt.
So stark and ess-less on the page,
Just stoking up my British rage –
Yet kids today are fine to say it –
They don’t care, it’s just a thing you say,
Like missing out the pointless yoos
And adding honest zees
That they know we’ll criticize –
They choose to do it anyway,
These wize-guys.

So what’s my beef ?
Am I so shaky in my self-belief
I have to wave my flag
At quickening American ?
Does my inner Anglo-Saxon gag
And want to ban their New-World-ness ?
Well, yes…I guess.
But it’s all just arbitrary guff,
And how long can I really bluff
Until I must admit, their way makes sense ?
Time to quit – don’t be a bore,
For in this theater of war,
My double els are no defense.

I know I have no chance tonite
To tell the kids what they can say –
Just as my teachers had no right
To scold me for ‘okay’.
But oh !, it hurts to hear my cherished forms
Be cast away.
Yet if the kids choose that instead of this,
Well, who the hell am I then
To dismiss them for their choice ?,
As if I have a voice they’d listen to.
So on they plow their furrow
By their dollar, yard, and boro –
For kids will always marvel at what’s noo.

I can assure you that it isn’t only Americans who can make wrath and math rhyme. There are so many other voices than RP, despite the OED’s attempts to pretend otherwise.

By the way, I can’t help thinking the last line looks less New York and more Scottish ! I suppose I could say ‘nu’ instead, but I think that will lokk even stranger.

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