First off allow me to beg your forgiveness for the repugnant coinage of the phrase phoenixation to describe what I perceive to be the death and rebirth of creolese in the Guyanese society from the days whence it was scorned and indicated the level of one’s education or lack thereof.
Now, for those of us who grew up in the countryside of Guyana, we grew up speaking raw creole. Things like “abedese” was an accepted part of our dialect. (Abedese means “we, us, ours” or anything to that extent.)
Wikipedia describes Guyanese creole as “an English-based creole language spoken by people in Guyana. Linguistically, it is similar to other English dialects of the Caribbean region, but has slight influences or loan words from Dutch, Arawakan languages, and Indian (East Indian) languages.”
I was recently given reason to re-examine the use of the creolese vernacular in Guyana society and what it signifies and rather what it insinuates.
It is accepted common knowledge that the intelligent Guyanese homo sapien would want to use a tongue that is indicative of his/her knowledge and social status.
But quite recently I have noticed a surge in the use of creolese dialect on social media and even a media house attempting to conduct reporting in a manner that were purely creolese – not sure how much of a success that is but right now I have a question or burning questions rather. Are Guyanese returning to their roots of their culture? Is the shamed language now not so ignominious? Are we truly learning to appreciate who we are as a people?
I for one confess to conforming to the notion that I should always speak Standard English – that was then. Now I don’t seem to give two shits and use it as I feel. Am I wrong for that?
My conclusion from all of this does not shed light on some positive thing for each of us. Seemingly it is now the trend to use creolese vernacular in conversations where Standard English fails to accentuate your point in a manner you would want or when it is expected.
And I say expected because when I go into certain places and have conversations with certain people I employ the use of the raw creolese.
For instance, I am speaking with my neighbor our conversations goes:
Him: Wam Deh Jomo, I ain seeing yuh…
Me: No budday I just deh in a carna. Ah deh in hay muss pass pon meh latuh we ga gyaff bout this ting
And so it goes…. But I wouldn’t speak like that to the President oh no sah.
Albeit these rabid explanations I think that the creolese vernacular is thriving and Guyanese should embrace it more. It’s who we are, it’s what we are.
But while the creole dialect is good and tasty it’s only good for communicating among certain nationalities or else the person would not know what the heck you’re saying. So what am I saying? Speak your creole but also know standard English.