Interview with academic Pedro Alvarez de Miranda after the struggle for a solo title

How could that simple tilde, just the tilde, unleash a war in the Language Academy that, at the same time, is like a war? Battle of the tilde Against the lexical plains and also the war of wounded sensibilities?

Well, that happened two weeks ago. In the first session, there were those who responded to a statement announcing the death of the battle before it ended, and one of these academics, Arturo Perez Riverte, consider that the statement of the RAE by which all insufficient has already been resolved and that, at the immediate meeting of the same Docta Casa, there will be more than words. An earthquake would happen.

Finally the blood did not reach the river. This moderation was so imposed that the director of the academy, Santiago Muñoz Machado, showed his face to the journalists who were awaiting a decision as expected for the Champions League match between the Spanish teams: before the highest authority of the academy. There was no scratch. Everything was fairly settled And now it is in the hands of those who write to decide whether, say, only without an accent or with it.

One of the academics most appeased to ask for an opinion on this episode, Pedro Alvarez de MirandaWe have come to put an end (or tone?) to the damned chaos. Born in Rome in 1953, he is a linguist who worked on the historical dictionary of the Spanish language, elected academician in 2010, at that time he published modern spanish dictionaries, He is a professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He writes a fortnightly column about the bullshit that good Spanish gets into, in the weekly reading, who edits the newspaper the world.

Quietly, after the battle, these are his Considerations about why academics are on the brink of battle.

s. To what do you attribute this passion to make the rhetorician an orator of any cause, even spelling?

R was found. Because the language belongs to everyone and every person considers himself the owner of even a small part of the language. This seems healthy and positive to me. Because language is our tool in life. So, since people consider the language to be their language and not the language of academics, well, disagreements arise.

Q: Before you came to the academy, how did you see the discussions that took place there?

R was found. The truth is that, long before I became an academic, I was already attached to the academy. I started working on it in 1982. So it’s been a long time since I’ve had an outside view. The other day I realized that since the death of Don Manuel Seco, of all the people who set foot on the building on Via Felipe IV, I’d been standing there the longest. For discussions, see: In Salvador Fernandez Ramírez’s introduction to Doubt Dictionary This grammarian of Manuel Seco speaks of a certain dissipation in interest in normative propositions. It was written in 1960. I don’t know if there was lulling at that time, but since I used linguistic reasoning, so to speak, I noticed that there was always an interest in these matters. Sometimes, I’ve noticed a high fever. Especially when it comes to spelling. It’s curious (and logical): when it comes to spelling, people are pretty conservative, and what they learned as kids they want to keep valid for the rest of their lives. Our fathers and grandfathers wrote in tilde He wasAnd I wasAnd opinion And gave. This accent was removed in 1959, but it took many years for everyone to notice it. And it is that books printed before the Reformation continued to circulate and many years must pass before those prominent forms are erased from your visual memory. I think that’s what happens today to those discussing the tilde sign Just.

s. What was the hottest point in RAE’s entire history?

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R was found. One of them is the name of the language: Castilian also Spanish. Other times, people are asking the Academy to be more normative or prescriptive than their fair share. People like to smack authoritarianism, but the task of philologists and linguists is descriptive rather than prescriptive. As a teacher I am aware of my responsibility, and without being a language conditional, lowering the grade for those who do not write well, that would be more. in spelling no you have freedom you have some freedom in lexical syntax … But not in satire. The whimsy of Juan Ramón Jimenez is always mentioned with the lyrics j, but … If we all had our quirks, this would be bedlam.

It is curious that the adjective Hispanic has not disappeared in Spain although a certain territorial unit has existed since ancient times.

Q: How do we say, Spanish also Castilian? or … Is this a patriotic thing?

R was found. It is interesting to coexist Castilian And Spanish As it happens in America. In Argentina, for example, it is widely used CastilianOnly in Mexico Spanish. It is a much debated issue that has not been settled. Amadou Alonso, a Spanish philologist based in Argentina, suggested that when we place ourselves in a supranational context, we use Spanishwhile in an international context let’s say Castilian. Oddly enough, the name has not disappeared in Spain Castilian Although a certain territorial unity has existed since ancient times, and in Italy, on the other hand, where national unity was very late, it was imposed before. Italian to Tuscan.

Q: Why do people still think that only part of our language is spoken in Latin America?

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R was found. It is no longer the case, simply because it is wrong. It is also wrong to say that the best Spanish is spoken in Valladolid or Colombia. Spanish is best spoken by the people who speak it well, wherever they are, and that’s it. We are 500 million speakers (or more, I don’t know) and that means great linguistic richness. Perhaps sometimes we need a footnote to explain some word or expression … OK then. We all have a passive vocabulary that is broader than our active one, there are words that we don’t say but that we understand. Anyway, how could we not be excited about something like this?

Q: Why do you think there was such passion in the media and in the academy itself? in tilde from Just?

R was found. Well, because the controversy of 2010 is far from over. Spelling fixes take a long time to absorb … For the time being, the Academy will not change anything, among other things, because it will have to come to an agreement with the American Academies. remake of A Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Skepticism Because it is urgent to renew the 2005 edition. In controversy Just… I thought things were settling down, but from what we’ve seen these days, that’s not the case. This passion seems natural to me. But you have to make an effort to figure things out well: in 2010, the obligatory accent was not removed. Of course, people have a hard time changing what they were taught as children. This is why you have to be very careful when making spelling changes.

Q: What about the past weeks? It was windy?

R was found. No, not long ago. There was some tension but nothing stormy.

Q: And why? Perez Riverty He said there will be a perfect storm?

R was found. Because he is very struggling with this matter. But, look, I would never contribute to any kind of confrontation between writers and philologists. We are both essential in the academy, although they have the charm we lack. As for spelling, I insist it’s the best don’t shake it. Let’s be practical and that’s it. In the eighteenth century, there was a series of spelling reforms from which, in general, our today’s spelling appeared, which is very simple and transparent. This intervention by García Márquez at the language conference held in Zacatecas, in which he said “Let’s retire spelling & rdquor; was very unfortunate & mldr; and a demagogic point.

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Q: What had to happen for last week’s plenum not to be a stormy one?

R was found. I don’t know, I suppose most of us academics were aware that there is no reason for a storm to occur. It was about explaining what is there and that’s it.

Words are in speech, not in a dictionary. The dictionary is full of dead words

Q: What words are crying out to you in everyday life right now? For example a statement?

R was found. Almost nothing to shout about to me. no a statement. Who was the first to use it Develop also cancel download also unpainted? prefix dis– Is there for you to use. began to spread faced… It was normal for it to appear a statement. He often asks me: “Can you say such a thing?” I usually say, “Well, I just said it and nothing serious happened.” Well that’s it. The new one is very good. If it’s not in the dictionary, well, what Unamuno said: “They’ll bring it up.” Words are in speech, not in a dictionary. The dictionary is full of dead words. From time to time a writer bails them out or tries to … And above all: languages ​​change and evolve.

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Q: What words do you save?

R was found. Maybe one I remember from my childhood. For example: foxbooty: a reserved person, a little cunning, a little hypocritical & mldr; I remember my grandfather used to say it a lot, but one day you’ll realize it’s not as common as you thought. I also remember shockIt is the kneecap. When my grandmother got out of the car and her knee could be seen, my grandfather would scold her: “Consuelo, shock.” Not many will know this word, which is part of my “family dictionary”. And this, as I saw many years later, yes, is in the dictionary …

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