Two nights ago, I took part in a debate about whether the death of Osama bin Laden had been a CIA fabrication. The other two people in the discussion live in Argentina. They both favor certain conspiracy theories that have long been debunked, such as the 9/11 attack was orchestrated by the U.S. government or that Osama bin Laden had been dead for some time now.
Fringe myths have been with humankind since humans began to talk to each other. There is good and bad gossip, and there are entertaining and dangerous myths. Language is not without its tall tales and misconceptions born out of misinformation, prejudice, ignorance or fear.
In Spanish in particular, I found the following ‘theories’:
a) Spanish-speaking people in all 22 countries where Spanish is used speak the same Spanish.
b) Spanish-speaking immigrants in the United States are fully bilingual.
c) Spanish translators are bilingual typists.
d) Spanish interpreters can also translate.
e) Castillian Spanish is too different from Latin American Spanish.
f) The Real Academia Española is out of touch with the way Spanish is currently used.
g) Educated Spanish speakers everywhere love headings with all the words capitalized.
h) Spanish immigrants from Mexico are all uneducated.
I am certain there are more out there. If you have any stories or ‘theories’, please share them here.