Language focus and new developments in digital technology

Dear Editor,

  Community Language Learning has ceased to exist momentarily because of the serious threat of COVID-19 affecting the lives of people in the community and around the world. People in the community should not give up language learning, because of its importance in Science and Technology, Business Studies, and Religious education. I am one who believed in community language teaching and learning. Language communication is one of the greatest gifts associated with mankind. The way we speak, write, listen, and read will help to develop the basic language communicative skills needed to conduct new businesses on the Internet, and the World Wide Web.

  Language focus and writing styles are also essential in expressing cultural thoughts, feeling, and ideas. On the other hand, most people in the Caribbean region and in the Western society are faced with new development in the digital world of technology, where a new virtual economic system is on the rise as a result of COVID-19. With this development bar-code science is playing a huge role in tracking individuals’ movement in diverse communities. The establishment of cashless societies designed for faster business checkouts at e-commerce centers. All these advanced technologies are controlling the lives of people in different parts of the world, and in the way businesses are conducted.

  Lately, I came across a piece vocabulary in The Daily Herald newspaper describing social standard behavior of professional individuals. Words not only have sound but motives as well. In reference to “Abrupt,” meaning “rude or unfriendly,” should not be used to described certain social standard behavior of professional people. Instead of using word like abrupt, it is much better of saying “strange or unusual”. Always remember! It’s not what you said, it is the way you say the word. Descriptive adjectives such as indecent, abrupt, or even erratic should never be used to describe social behavior.

  Furthermore, simple vocabulary is the best way to decode meaning. Most people never forget words used against them: Once I was standing at the entrance of a cemetery. As the coffin with the dead man passes by, a group of six men were standing under a tree. One of the men turn to the others and said, “When that man was alive he used to call him ‘stupid’.”

  Similarly, there’s an old story I read not too long ago entitled: “Trouble makes the monkey eats pepper.” This story indicates how words or phrases can be misinterpreted at times: An old lady was walking selling Guava jelly-jam and sugar cakes. As she arrived at the entrance of the village she stumbles and lose her balance, and all her items fell to the ground. Luckily, only one of the jam was smashed and spilled over the ground. There was a monkey sitting in a tree just across the street when the incident happened. “Trouble eh?” cried the old lady. The monkey thought that trouble was the name of the jelly-jam, so the next day he went to the village asking the villagers where he can buy some trouble. The villagers didn’t like monkeys because they were destroying their crops. So, in the end the villagers sent two vicious dogs after him. The monkey took off with a speed and climbed into a sandbox-tree for rescue. Of all the trees in the forest, monkeys do not like sandbox-trees, because they have a lot prickles all over them. For days he was stuck in that tree, the villagers had to rescue him. The phrase “monkey knows what tree to jump on” came from this story.

  Never before in the history of politics on St. Maarten there are so many problems and confusion in reporting vital information correctly to the general public. Many elected officials ran their campaign on false promises, with the intention if they are elected, they will help the people, and amend laws to bring prosperity to the country. By now it seems like pure fantasy. Many are now criticizing the leadership styles of government. Others are looking at different ways of diversification. Not too bad at all, but it costs money to execute the process, which the country doesn’t have at the moment.

  The Dutch, on the other hand, are using the law of diminishing returns to help bring about financial stability to the island, by establishing a series of stiff conditions referred to as cost cutting measures. These so called measures are too difficult for the poor people to accept right now. These come at a time when the people are struggling from a hurricane disaster and a global pandemic.

  “COVID-19 or COVID-20 is not really the issue right now,” someone said. What is it then? The biggest problem is to get a stagnant economy moving again. There are too many negative factors affecting the revenues of the country. One good lady minister tabled a motion to stop other unemployed ministers from collecting a salary. This motion was not carried. Something like this is very useful to save money. This can also help in stop begging for payroll support.

  Most of the politicians are saying, “Country above self” but the motion can’t pass. Some of them are like wolves in sheep clothing. Some are saying one thing and doing opposite. All the pensioners are receiving pure deception from their own leaders of government.

  Final consideration: During the lockdown crisis around the world, we have seen the rise of a new economic system referred to as the virtual economy. This system will need people with the necessary basic computer skills, smart phones operating techniques, a smart phone, a bank account, credit or money card, and a standard exchange currency to pay for international transaction and receive money. A study skill program for this new system should be introduced into the school program in the computer and business classes from third form to form five level students.

  I am asking people to read Animal Farm, Trail of Tears, and What Color Is Your Parachute – this one is mostly for young adults.


Joseph Harvey