Greener Grass

You can laugh at the Bonjour-Hi legislation but tomorrow the provincial government will start wasting huge sums of money on sending inspectors to go on covert operations to convenience stores and diners, slapping fines on the miserable owners who slip up and breathe in after “bonjour”, which can be interpreted as the illegal “hi.” There are already crowds of these language police doing similar kinds of thing, so there’ll simply be more. 

So when you say “I want to pay higher taxes and get social services in return like in Canada”, remember that the social services you get in exchange for those ridiculously high taxes are these language police with their Pastagates and also the valuable privilege of waiting for a doctor’s appointment for months only to hear, “Psh, you don’t really think I have time to look at your test results, do you?”

2 thoughts on “Greener Grass”

  1. Sorry Clarissa,, my new computer does not remember my name on your blog or the e-mail I’ve been using before… So let’s see how it goes.

    I think social services and linguistic peculiarities of Quebec are two perpendicular dimensions. Yes, they intersect in Quebec, but it does not necessarily mean that more money for social services and linguistic peculiarities are in any sort of cause and effect relationship.

    These linguistic peculiarities, along with some other things happening in Quebec, are manifestation of a certain kind of nation-state, if anything. I can name more of such nation states… the common denominator is that the ethnic/linguistic/religious group that is currently dominant in given country/province used to be oppressed in the past. And now understandably the oppressed became the oppressor. Using all kinds of progressive language to hide this fact first and foremost from themselves. (When I say “understandably”, I mean that I recognize that this is a natural reaction, not that this behavior should be tolerated. On the ;level of individual people, we understand that most bullies are bullies because they were abused themselves, but we do not tolerate their bullying. Same should apply to nations.)

    Similar linguistic peculiarities exist in a number of post-soviet countries where social services are in abysmal state, incomparable to that of Quebec. Yet they still find both political will and public funds to attempt building unilingual societies even in a 60/40 situation.


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