The ridiculousness of inclusive language

People & Style

Lola sampedro



I am incapable of taking seriously someone who says ‘todes’ or ‘friends’. The use of the morpheme ‘-e’ makes me blush as much as when an adolescent tells me “what a move, trunks (sorry, trunks).” They call it inclusive language when it is nothing more than an absurd effort to infantilize the language.

The insistence to avoid the generic masculine makes me drowsy. Communication also lies in the language economy, in addition to its proper use. Doing it cumbersome for free achieves just the opposite of what is intended. In the case of writing, get the reader to go through those paragraphs diagonally. When it is spoken, the listener will put on mental autopilot and will not know anything you are saying. It will not be so much a problem of inattention, but of a misuse of language that hinders, almost cancels, communication.

I read in this newspaper the publication of a book on Geography and History for Andalusia in which the manual becomes a gratuitously heavy and unbearable reading text:

“In 1942 all Jews were urged to convert to Christianity or to leave the kingdom. The new Christians were called converts (…) After the conquest of Granada, Muslims were guaranteed the practice of their religion.

It seems like a joke. I read those lines and I imagine Eugenio saying them sarcastically sitting on his stool while smoking a cigarette. The twisted tongue like this only deserves my attention when it is limited to a joke, when it is reduced to a joke, to a satire of the surreal situation in which they want to put us all (sorry, everyone).

As a mother I have a recurring phrase since my children were very young: “Speak properly”. I have been and am vigilant in their conjugation of verbs, in the correct use of adjectives … Also, in that they are not vague when expressing themselves, in that they look for the correct nuances in their vocabulary. When we have an argument, monosyllables or silence are not worth me, I ask you to vindicate yourself with language, defend yourself with words!

Those two phrases (“Speak properly” and “Defend yourself with words”) have germinated so much in them that now, when they are teenagers, they serve as my own medicine. They don’t settle for “because Mom says so, period.” I deserve it, for heavy.

However, I believe that that precision in language, that claim in speech, it should never go through its infantilization. If I ask my daughter which friends she has played with in the yard today, all I get is to ridicule her, to assume that her understanding is limited. I’d be taking her for a foolWhen the truth is that, although I always ask her with the generic male, she answers that at recess she has been with Margarita and Juan. Having read the Andalusian textbook, my only hope is that they, our children (our children?), Are wiser than us. And if one day I say to them, “We’re all going on a field trip,” I hope they’ll answer me: “Mom, please speak to me properly.”

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