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How to be Kool in arabic writing: Linguistic observations from the side line

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Chapter Summary

Students of Arabic have often been led astray by a fatal fallacy: the Arabic language they study, in its grammar and syntax, shines out as a neat structure of blissful regularity. The linguistic reality of the Arab world is by no means as static as the written material suggests: among Arabs new needs and concepts emerge, new answers and solutions to the diglossic situation are implicitly or explicitly formulated and this momentum, shaped by the mobility and flexibility of actual people, is unfolding in a typically linguistic way: anarchy. This chapter discusses a single phenomenon that represents the present stage of this flexibility and anarchy in written Arabic in Egypt : the monthly "Ihna, sawt jil bi-haluh" is a glossy magazine. Teachers of modern Arabic can hardly do without regularly being in touch with the Arab world in order to adequately follow the linguistic developments in the Arab world.

Keywords: anarchy; Arabic in Egypt; modern Arabic; written Arabic



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