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  • Indigenous languages suppressed by a foreign imposed lingua franca have shown profound capacity to reinvigorate themselves. If the ‘dead national languages’ of Norway and Ireland can be revived; almost certainly the marginalized languages of Sicily and southern Italy can displace the Piedmontese imposed Tuscan lingua franca. Indeed, the displacement may already be in process. But, there is no reason to believe southern-Italian Americans will ever again hear the sounds of their historic mother tongues and know the history and culture embedded in those languages. They will continue to have their history and culture defined by mass-media and the American Tuscan-esque literati and teachers.
  • Op-Eds
    Robert Viscusi(January 20, 2010)
    'Guido' is a phenomenon that demands attention. If Italian American social advance were as real, as secure, and as substantial as many Italian Americans believe it to be (I am among these believers), then it would seem not only not harmful, but indeed positively beneficial and necessary, to examine, to discuss, and to reflect upon the power of such a new word. As to the youths of Jersey Shore, they are playing grotesques, like all minstrel-show caricatures. They are amusing—indeed, more so than most clowns with sad eyes. They have clearly found their moment and clearly touched a nerve. To the term Italian American, which has carried so many strings of dollar bills and ropes of sausage, they have added a new chain of fetishes – a tanning bed, a tube of gel, an old summer thong bearing the legend “I Love the Situation.”
  • The "Guido/Goomba/Cugine" is a very distinctive-looking, working-class East Coast Italian-American. The whole lifestyle may seem shallow or strange to some, but “authentic” Italian-American life does not have to revolve around formal language, Renaissance art or the opera. This is indeed a subculture that is very complex and needs exploration—not shunning and shame. There can be civil discussions about all these differences, but there should never be any mean-spirited debates on which is right or wrong.
  • Life & People
    Joey Skee(March 09, 2008)
    Turncoat mafioso’s statement about media depictions of Italian Americans is “smoking gun” say some Italian-Americans. No kidding.

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