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IN “NEGLECTING LA RAZA” (3/1), Philip Burnham cites Miguel Bretos, cultural liaison between the Latino community and the Smithsonian, as saying that “‘Standard Spanish doesn’t exist,’ noting local varieties from Spain to South America and the Caribbean.” But come to think of it, the Spanish language is more uniform than English in both spelling and pronunciation, two areas in which Standard English, both American and British varieties, show variance (e.g., labor vs. labour, favor vs. favour; schedule pronounced with a hard k sound in American English and a soft sh sound as in shame in Britain).
Outside of regionalisms, much like what one finds in the U.S.A. (e.g., either soda, pop, or tonic for a carbonated soft drink), Spanish speakers are more than each other’s match in understanding a major world language presided over by the academicians of the Real Academia de la Lengua
“Choosing the ‘right’ dialect for museum display,” a peninsular or Latin American variety, is a cosmetic concern at best.