15 Feb 2020
Have you heard of codeswitching?
Still reading through kottke.org’s archives and found this 2003 post on “bilingual conversations”
It was funny to read in retrospect because:
- It’s from 2003 which isn’t that far away but it feels that way if you read this
- It pretty much says “hey, I found out about this thing called ‘codeswitching’. Have you heard of it?”
- It’s something minorities do to get some privacy and peace and has been going on for centuries (thanks slavery and oppression!)
- 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.