What's wrong with tree as three, give us a break Mr Eleazar
Stabroek News
November 6, 2001

Dear Editor,

Why doesn't Mr. R.J. Eleazar [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] give us Guyanese (and himself) a break? What's the big beef about Three and not Tree? He honestly thinks that the President, the academic staff of the University of Guyana, radio, TV announcers and Guyanese on the whole don't know the difference? Tree is Three for us when we are here, as Snuck is Sneaked, and Brung is Brought for the Americans whether they are here or elsewhere, and furthermore they are so damned proud to be their native selves they've made the above part of normal usage. So I say to Brodder Eleazar: lighten up a bit.

Now, I hope Mr. R. J. Eleazar doesn't get me totally wrong. He does have a point if he is saying that there is a need for us to know when we might necessarily have to put our tongues between our teeth. In his letter, Mr. Eleazar writes: "Indeed nearly every word that starts with the letter "th" is pronounced as though there is no "h" in the spelling". I couldn't believe this guy was berating us (a proud nation) for sounding how we have been sounding for "donkey years". Think of it, Sir R. J. You are telling us, in effect, to strive to deny our Guyanese-ness. How dare you? I feel our local delivery makes us unique and striving to be agonizingly proper can only make us look

false and sound like phonies.

Jamaicans seem to have a natural tendency to drop their "h's" where they are needed, and placing them where they aren't. Does that affect them back as a progressing nation? Does it hold them back in making a positive impact

World-Wide today? It does not! As a matter of fact most Jamaicans will chuck their island dialect raw in any and every part of the world, yet they are respected in every part of it. So I say to Mr. R. J. Eleazar: Listen to a recorded interview with the late and great Bob Marley (if your learned ear can take it); then give us your learned analysis of words that he may have mispronounced, and finally; tell us how it ever held him back from being

hailed as a Third World musical superstar and presently inducted in an international hall of fame of musical greats?

So, Mr. Eleazar, I will end as I began: Give us (including your good and proper Guyanese self) a break.

Yours faithfully,

Harold A. Bascom

Playwright/Novelist and Book Publisher,

Hackensack, New Jersey.