In light of two recent newscasts using what some perceive as troubling foreign phrases and words on air, the Texas State Office of Linguistic Purity is calling for a return to English. The following top-secret memo was leaked to the Daily Post last week:
To: Texas TV News Directors
From: The Texas State Office of Linguistic Purity
Sirs and Madams,
Recently it has come to our attention that two newscasters have uttered words and phrases that strike the ears of patriotic Texans as less than 100 percent American.
In one instance, a Houston newswoman greeted her viewers with the Spanish salutation “Buenos dias.” On Memorial Day weekend, no less. As usual in such matters, we at TOLP defer to the eternal wisdom of anonymous commenters on newspaper websites. Here are a few salient points to consider:
“Memorial Day is not a Mexican holiday. No reason for her to be speaking Spanish. Last time I checked she lives in the USA, speak English. If she wants to speak Spanish leave the country and go live in a Spanish speaking country.”
“What’s next…is she going to do the entire segment in Spanish because she’s ‘proud’? These ‘in your face’ political statements are getting out of hand.”
“She works on an English speaking station. Want to speak Spanish? Go to Univision.”
“Not a smart move from a ‘talking head.’ Her job relies on people watching and ratings. You can see why journalism degrees are so easy to obtain.”
In the second instance, a National Weather Service meteorologist warned on Facebook that Lubbock was menaced by a “haboob.” Although this kind of term might be expected from cosmopolitans in Washington, we believe that word is objectionable for two reasons: Firstly, it goes without saying that this is a somewhat prurient word and guaranteed to cause unchaste thoughts in the minds of impressionable youths. Secondly, and more importantly, as several proud Texans have pointed out, “haboob” is of Arabic origin, and thus “problematic.” These Texas purists have weighed in:
“In Texas, nimrod, this is called a sandstorm. We’ve had them for years! If you would like to move to the Middle East you can call this a haboob. While you reside here, call it a sandstorm. We Texans will appreciate you.”
“Haboob!?! I’m a Texan. Not a foreigner from Iraq or Afghanistan. They might have haboobs but around here in the Panhandle of TEXAS, we have Dust Storms. So would you mind stating it that way. I’ll find another weather service.”
All points well taken. A simple folksy “howdy” would have sufficed in the first instance, and in the second, a good ol’ fashioned Panhandle sandstorm by any other name is still just a good ol’ fashioned Panhandle sandstorm, no matter what the the National Weather Service calls it.
As you are all aware, today’s media environment is tough and competitive. Ratings are down, and the last thing our viewers should be subjected to are words from such troublesome countries as Mexico and Arabia. Therefore, we at TOLP have come up with a few more words for newscasters to avoid, along with purely English substitutes:
Algebra: Hard math
Apricot: Orange ear fruit
Coffee: Go-go mud
Cotton: Cloud fabric
Genie: Lamp-dwelling trickster
Ghoul: Graveyard zombie monster
Giraffe: Long-necked leopard-camel*
Hummus: Chickpea paste
Lemon: Yellow sourfruit
Lime: Green sourfruit
Mecca (in the sense of a nerve center): Manhattan
Spinach: Popeye lettuce
Sugar: Sweet crystals
*Contrary to popular belief, “camel” is not of Arabic origin and is thus acceptable.
Alligator: Man-eating swim-lizard
Avocado: Man-eating swim-lizard pear
Burrito: Sandwich cylinder
Cafeteria: Line diner
Daiquiri: Rum à la Hemingway
Guacamole: Man-eating swim-lizard pear paste
Hurricane: Spinning seastorm
Marijuana: Devil weed
Mescal: Wormed cactus buzzwater
La Niña, El Niño (in the sense of a storm): The scary girl, the scary boy
Piñata: Treat*-stuffed effigy
Potato: Earth apple
Quinoa: Hipster rice
Rodeo: Livestock battle-sport
Salsa: Chip sauce
Taco: Folded flatbread sandwich
Tequila: Cactus buzzwater
*”Candy” is avoided here because it is allegedly of Arabic origin. We at TOLP are working on a viable American substitute.
Many thanks for your adherence to these patriotic usages in your future broadcasts.
And let’s keep English American!