Monday, October 11, 2010

Decline of the Accent Mark, Continued

Excélsior, which is in every way a legitimate, professional, major newspaper, has a slogan at the top of their web page reading, El periodico de la vida nacional (The newspaper of national life). "Periódico", however, is correctly written as it is at the beginning of this sentence, with an accent over the first "o". If major print media outlets can't get the accent right on their slogan, of all things, what chance does the grammatical sign have with the rest of the country.

Previous analysis of the future (or lack thereof) of the accent here.


David Bodwell said...

I, for one, totally believe in using all accent marks in Spanish words or names when writing or publishing in English.

With very few exceptions, the use of the accent mark guides one to the correct pronunciation of the word or name, and that is very important.

Some of the exceptions at the beginning of a sentence rather than si tell you whether the sentence begins with YES or IF, a major difference.

But going back to pronunciation, there is really no alternative to correct pronunciation in Spanish and the accent marks make it easy.

pc said...

It's kind of odd, as a foreigner having learned Spanish, I think they are hugely useful and they were very helpful in getting me to learn to pronounce things correctly. But that's because I didn't learn how to talk organically, as a Mexican child might, who learns proper pronunciation for several years without even knowing what an accent is in most cases. The marks are paradoxically more useful for English speakers than they were for native speakers, which is why I kinda think that they will eventually disappear.

But yeah I also try to be diligent about using them properly in names.