The Newsletter of the
International Association for Literary Journalism Studies (Vol. 11, no. 4, Fall 2017.)
What first caught my myopic eye was the President´s letter, where Isabel Soares, from the Universidade de Lisboa, writes: “Twelve years ago is a long time for some of us to have any recollections of how IALJS came into existence.” Twelve years ago is a long time? What is ago doing there? That was the first red flag I noticed.
And then, after finding in the newsletter some more grammatical lapses, I came to the gem, the hub, the crème de la créme of articles, the one entitled Quality Sports Journalism, with the promising subtitle “A space devoted to the study of the use of language and narrative and ethical aspects of journalism in general, and of sports journalism in particular.”
After reading that heading I was stunned, flabbergasted and irked to dicover gems like:
“The sports information is, together with which is about fashion, the journalistic area where they proliferate most foreign words.” “Crystal clear” as lovers of the cliché would put it.
“Although this does not justify any abuse that can commit these foreign voices, yes favours to be used. In any case, to use well the words foreign, know what are
necessary and which are superfluous…” Can this be understood? Is it English?
“-Do through what channels reach the Spanish words and expressions from English?
-Borne multiple pathways, mainly newspaper type, through newspapers, magazines and other media.”
The whole article is riddled with “riddle sentences” – and no pun intended. This is why I say that English has no future as an international language. If the International Association of Literary Journalism Studies, with Isabel Soares at the helm, can mistreat and abuse the English language thus, how can we expect to raise standards in communication? The only action I can take, albeit a very humble one, is to recommend my book on writing in English Escribir y comunicar en inglés (Anaya, 2016.) which I wrote in English and Spanish. And there is a chapter on Machine Translation.