TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Welsh Operators Keep it English

Re: Welsh Operators Keep it English

Dale Neiburg (
Thu, 10 May 2007 16:47:24 -0400

mc wrote:


>> CARDIFF, Wales, May 8 (UPI) -- Telephone operators in Wales are
>> being told not to greet callers in the country's native tongue
>> because the language may damage vocal chords."

>> How bad does your language have to be that merely speaking it can
>> damage your vocal chords?

> I am a linguist, and I can assure you that I've never heard of a
> language damaging vocal cords! Such a language would immediately
> change into one that doesn't, since children of each generation
> learn only what they can hear.

The UPI story might charitably be referred to as hogwash. I speak
Welsh (probably the only kid on my block who does), and my vocal cords
are good as new!

> Journalistic hoax?

More likely the old-fashioned English prejudice against things Welsh.
The French are, or used to be, even worse where the almost-identical
Breton language was concerned.

Dale Neiburg ** NPR Satellite Operations ** 202-513-2640

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."


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