Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A few links

Lots of laughs at The "Blog" of Unnecessary Quotation Marks and Apostrophe Abuse.

Also recently saw this site -- -- actually it's mostly a translation service, but if you poke around you'll see some interesting stuff about issues of English in China.


Planning to submit an abstract to the EMP Pop Conference again this year (theme: music and technology) and feel better about this one than any others I have had rejected -- we'll see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting Schooled

Lunch with students departing for the UK, June 2009

ME (sympathetically to student who isn't great at English): So, I guess English must be, like, your third language, right? (Since I figure she speaks a local dialect and Mandarin also)

STUDENT (pausing to count on fingers): I can speak....five languages.

ME: (shameful silence)

World Englishes vs Contrastive Rhetoric

Obvs, CR has moved beyond "Chinese people think in a circular way, whereas whiteys think in a logical way" (I mean, they call it intercultural rhetoric now), but the point, or a big point, I think, is this:

Written* "China English," whatever it is, does not exist only because of the Chinese language or even the "Chinese way of thinking" (once a common answer from Kaplan et al, now common answer from Chinese students/teachers/etc) -- it also exists because of language attitudes and ideology, educational policies, educational cultures, expressions of identity, the internet, internationalization of English, increased acceptance of language mixing in China, standardized tests, and idiosyncratic choices made by writers (professional or not). And probably a lot of other things.

(*I want to qualify these because I am not really looking at spoken CE, currently -- it is certainly a reality and in some ways a lot easier to identify in terms of pronunciation, intelligibility, unique phonology, etc)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"English Songs" as a Genre of Chinese Music?

Seriously, how does a list like this get created??? This is a list of "English Songs" by a blogger known as happyguy. What is going on here? How do these songs get so popular in China? Is it only marketing? Why do Chinese people love Richard Clayderman when no one else in the world has ever heard of him? Anyway, I might have an outlet to explore this sometime soon. Until then, puzzle over this list with me.