Have you heard of codeswitching?

Filed under: life

Still reading through kottke.org’s archives and found this 2003 post on “bilingual conversations”

It was funny to read in retrospect because:

  1. It’s from 2003 which isn’t that far away but it feels that way if you read this
  2. It pretty much says “hey, I found out about this thing called ‘codeswitching’. Have you heard of it?”
  3. It’s something minorities do to get some privacy and peace and has been going on for centuries (thanks slavery and oppression!)
  4. How it became a “thing” to media publications in the 2010s

I’ve codeswitched in different ways since I was 6. I had to adopt a different accent to stop kids asking me to say words in my Northern accent. I kept it up for about 15 years with only a couple of slips and explanations when they heard me. I did it when I lived in Atlanta for the same reason. I do it with my mum, switching between Jamaican and English, as does she. It puts a point across better when you do it and it’s the closest I’ll get to calling myself a polyglot.

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