One of the most interesting discussions to emerge after the ‘riots’ in the UK earlier this month focused on the impact of language.
The issue of whether the language that young people speak is a corrupting influence was raised in a BBC Newsnight interview with historian David Starkey, who asserted that “the whites have become black”.
Aside from attracting accusations of being racist, as he pointed the finger at ‘Jamaican’ patois, David Starkey has also come under fire from linguists who say he is confusing people simply speaking English with a Jamaican accent with the completely different language of Jamaican Creole (see Language Log blog post here for a detailed analysis).
The discussion will no doubt rage on but it made me think about a great poem by Taylor Mali called Speak With Conviction.
This version uses kinetic typography to enhance the message: