A BusinessWeek Online article by Brian Grow reports on companies that market to the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants in the US, focusing on the identification card known as the matrícula consular issued by Mexican consulates. What brings it into LH territory is the following bit:
So far, Blue Cross says it may have signed up several thousand Mexicans with the matrícula, although it doesn’t yet track the number. In May it extended the program to matrícula holders from Guatemala, and it’s working on a video-marketing campaign for Guatemalans who speak an ancient Mayan dialect, K’anjobal, so old that it’s no longer written.
“So old that it’s no longer written”—never mind that it’s not true (Ethnologue, Bible excerpt), what does it even mean? If languages somehow lost their writing systems as they aged, you’d think the Chinese, for example, would have been illiterate for many centuries. I wonder if it’s an editing goof or simple absence of thought on the reporter’s part.
(Thanks for the link, Kári!)