The Cultural Lisp

In a little update to the “hurds”, I want to introduce the concept of the Cultural Lisp. Basically, at its core, this is an urban legend, but with a twist in that beyond just being a story that people start to repeat over and over and take as fact, they start to try and convince others that this is the case as well and make them believe that what they’re saying really is the truth. It’s a downward spiral of societal stupidity. If you’re looking for it on a smaller scale, think of the game, telephone.

The origin of the hurd name comes from an article I did last year about how people always say, Barthelona instead of Barcelona as those who live there say the name of the city. Everyone outside of Spain keeps saying that this affectation is because of a king who had this lisp and blah dee blah dee blah blah… God, I’m tired of repeating that incredibly inaccurate story. I can only start to know how all the Spaniards I know (especially those from Barcelona) must feel in getting history lessons from foreigners.

But this is the textbook example of the Cultural Lisp. People around the world became convinced that they knew the origin for this “lisp” (which for god sakes, isn’t a damned lisp!) and they felt the need to spread it throughout their culture and in to others. Thus the irony in all of this is not that Castilian Spanish speakers talk with a lisp, but that everyone else has created this lisp in their culture. It’s an artificial construct that is made all the more virulent through today’s connected technologies.

We don’t have to do this though. We can be informed and not take what people say at face value. Despite how much my mom hates it for proving her wrong quite often, Wikipedia is a great friend to one and all. Be vigilant. Stop the Cultural Lisp.

The Cultural Lisp