In The Future, Everyone Will Be Fluent In Spanglish

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One of Latinx Twitter’s favorite memes goes like this: “Chicanx poets be like: his cum / la lechera / filling / my warm / concha fresca / recién horneada.” The hard-to-pronounce “x’s” that virtue signal queer Indigenous inclusivity, the easy metaphors, and the corny Spanglish are all far too easy to make fun of. Recently, when American Dirt was revealed to be written by a non-immigrant author with questionable roots, #mylatinonovel trended on Twitter, clowning the novel’s try-hard Spanglish. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even flexed her Spanglish at the DNC. If you’ve ever cringed at the gratuitous “abuelita” or “mi amor” written into mainstream Latinx characters (both on screen and in pages), it’s because you know Spanglish is a cliché.

But clichés are so because they are true. Yes, TV characters that sound like Dora the Explorer are corny, but who among us hasn’t picked up the phone to say: “Bendición, abuelita”?

Spanglish isn’t so much a combination of two languages, or even its own third language, as it is an occurrence. It’s when your English is fine until you draw a blank on a word you only know in Spanish. Or…


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