Answering the Critics of the President’s Finnish Society

Inspired by the success and resolve of the Queen’s English Society, I created the President’s Finnish Society, or Presidentin Suomenkielen Mielisairaala. Our intention is to improve the standards of Finnish, to encourage people to know more about the wonderful Finnish language, to use it more effectively and to enjoy it more, to rid Standard Finnish of vulgar slang and foreign words. Or, as the Finns would say, “sinun seura on paska.” Just like the QES, the PFS awards an annual prize for excellent Finnish usage – the Jussi Sekopää award. Last year’s winner, for the eighth time in a row, was Matti Nykänen.

The PFS has been around for twelve years and we are still going strong. But I feel it is time to answer some of our detractors. I do not want to, but it seems they just won’t go away. On the contrary, it seems they might be multiplying. This will not do.

The first criticism to address is that I am not qualified to monitor the progress of the Finnish language. My opponents will say that just because I’m neither a native Finn nor a fluent Finnish speaker, I should therefore not “comment on any alterations to the language that are felt to be not in keeping with clarity and elegance in written or spoken” Finnish, as the QES does for English. I say that I am the proud father of not one, but two native Finnish speakers. So you could call me not just fluent, but proto-fluent.

That’s pretty much the only charge that has been leveled against me. Well, some like to point out that there is already an organization that polices the Finnish language. But those fools just don’t realize that two is better than one. Duh!

Read all about it
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Author: Joe McVeigh

I'm a linguist who researches email marketing. I also teach at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. I write about language and linguistics on my blog, ...And Read All Over, and I write about language and marketing on my other blog, Email and Linguistics.

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