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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

"The beauty of the people's first language"

In the current issue of the Guyana Review, Allan Fenty shares his memories of the late Wordsworth McAndrew:

You would have hardly known from Wordsworth that he had been “a QC boy.” Not that he was modest, but he communicated his preference for “the University of the streets.”

That is why he traversed the entire country exploring and unearthing authentic folkloric beliefs, rituals, proverbs and unique creole which we tend to describe as “creolese.”

How high in esteem he held up the creole. An actual quote from him was -- “if we throw out creolese, we throw out a vital part of ourselves.” So on his old, reel-to-reel tape recorder, forever in that battered knapsack, he recorded the beauty of the people’s first language.

Also, admirers of McAndrew have set up a memorial blog, with links to articles about him, examples of his work, etc. And Guyana president Bharrat Jagdeo has announced that Carifesta X, which Guyana will host in August, will pay special tribute to McAndrew and his legacy.

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