Inspired by Clarissa’s list of “20 Ways to Become Known as a Male Chauvinist“, I am compiling my own top ten list of How to be Known As a Language Snob, along with extra points.


1. Whenever you meet someone from a different country tell them “I like your accent. You don’t speak like other _____________ (fill in country name) that I have met.”

2. After meeting someone for the first time, let your idea of a compliment to them be “Oh you speak good English.” For extra points, ask them where they learnt to speak it so well.

3. Whenever someone says to you “I like your accent too”, look insulted and ask in a high voice, “I have an accent? What do you mean I have an accent?” For extra points, be actually insulted by that.

4. Be disgusted by people speaking their local language around you. For extra point, go to them (whether you know them or not) and ask them to speak English instead. After all, they are in America.

5. If you come from a multilingual society, pretend that English is the only language worthy of learning by your children. Punish them if they speak the mother tongue. Don’t speak it to them. For extra points, justify this by saying that “In today’s world, English is the only language worth learning.”

6. Wonder aloud many times why anyone speaks any other language at all no matter where they live. Ask “Why can’t they all learn English?”

7. Fail students who write “spelled” as spelt, learned as learnt, “labor” as labour and “neighbor” as “neighbour”. For extra points, tell them that they have spent enough time in the USA to know how those words should be spelt.

8. When someone tells you that their course of study is linguistics, ask them what the importance of that course of study is. When they tell you, ask them why they didn’t study business instead.

9. When someone tells you that their course of study is Teaching English as a Second Language, tell them without prompting that it is a good idea because they would finally be able to return to their home countries to teach the people there how to speak English.

10. Complain that the reason you did poorly in a class was because the accent of the teacher was too thick for you to understand/process. For extra points, wonder why the university didn’t employ a full-blooded American for the position instead of foreigners.

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