It’s probably only fair to warn Hugo Chavez of this, but the French tried the same thing he’s trying and it didn’t work for them either.
The Venezuelan strongman is upset at the number of English words slipping into Venezuelans’ vocabulary, U.S. imperialism, don’t you know.
According to the Associated Press, the telecommunications company CANTV has been ordered — and now that it’s been nationalized Chavez can do this sort of thing — to avoid English business and technical terms, which, in fairness to CANTV employees, is pretty tough to do in today’s global business environment without looking like a complete rube.
The Communications and Information Ministry warned darkly that Spanish is “threatened by sectors that have started a battle for the cultural domination of our nations.” If the sector it’s talking about is the office cubicle, it may have a point.
Here are some of the English words AP says the government wants replaced: staff (“equipo”), marketing (“mercadeo”), password (“contrasena”), meeting (“reunion”) and sponsor” (“patrocinador”).
Urges the ministry, “Say it in Spanish. Say it with pride.” OK, all together now, “Raton!” (That’s “mouse.”) Thwarting Yankee cultural imperialism one double-click at a time.