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  • Top 10 reasons whyTop 10 reasons why spanishlinguist.us is a fanspanishlinguist.us is a fan of theof the Real Academia EspañolaReal Academia Española (RAE)(RAE) More properly, theMore properly, the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua EspañolaAsociación de Academias de la Lengua Española
  • The RAE is truly internationalThe RAE is truly international  19 countries19 countries where Spanish is an officialwhere Spanish is an official language have a national Academy.language have a national Academy.  Only Equatorial Guinea doesn’t.Only Equatorial Guinea doesn’t.  The USA, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines eachThe USA, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines each has its own academy as well.has its own academy as well.  Every Academy has a vote in major languageEvery Academy has a vote in major language decisions.decisions.  The main RAE dictionary includes dialectalThe main RAE dictionary includes dialectal variations.variations.  The RAE also publishes aThe RAE also publishes a Diccionario deDiccionario de Americanismos.Americanismos.
  • The RAE is charmingly old-fashionedThe RAE is charmingly old-fashioned (some may interpret this as stuffiness)(some may interpret this as stuffiness)  AcademyAcademy membersmembers are listed asare listed as DonDon andand Doña.Doña.  Member Academies in theMember Academies in the internationalinternational AsociaciónAsociación are listedare listed inin chronological orderchronological order of theirof their founding, not alphabetical order.founding, not alphabetical order.  Each member Academy has aEach member Academy has a quaint seal and motto. Thequaint seal and motto. The original RAE motto isoriginal RAE motto is “Limpia, fija, y da esplendor”; its seal is to the right.
  • The RAEThe RAE websitewebsite rocksrocks It is one of my two go-to on-lineIt is one of my two go-to on-line dictionaries, along withdictionaries, along with wordreference.com.wordreference.com. Unlike wordreference.com, it hasUnlike wordreference.com, it has etymologies for many words.etymologies for many words.
  • The RAE answers the public’sThe RAE answers the public’s questions about Spanishquestions about Spanish Their website has a link forTheir website has a link for consultas lingüísticasconsultas lingüísticas.. They have answered questions for meThey have answered questions for me about:about: the bizarrely meaninglessthe bizarrely meaningless lala oror laslas in verbalin verbal expressions likeexpressions like dárseladársela the bogus origin stories of the nicknamesthe bogus origin stories of the nicknames Pepe and PacoPepe and Paco They respond promptly and thoroughly.They respond promptly and thoroughly.
  • They occupyThey occupy prime Madrid real estateprime Madrid real estate Calle de Felipe IV, 4Calle de Felipe IV, 4 Take aTake a tourtour!!
  • TheThe AcademiaAcademia of the USAof the USA is very activeis very active  Check out theirCheck out their websitewebsite..  Their headquarters is in NYC.Their headquarters is in NYC.  Some members are immigrants, others were born in the USA.Some members are immigrants, others were born in the USA.  Their mission is to support the continuance of realTheir mission is to support the continuance of real Spanish (not Spanglish) in the USA. This includesSpanish (not Spanglish) in the USA. This includes  ““Lengua viva” animations onLengua viva” animations on YahooYahoo  TV slots promoting proper Spanish on Univisión (“TV slots promoting proper Spanish on Univisión (“Dígalo bienDígalo bien”)”) andand MundoFoxMundoFox  NewspaperNewspaper columnscolumns (I don’t have any links to the columns(I don’t have any links to the columns themselves)themselves)  A book,A book, Hablando bien se entiende la genteHablando bien se entiende la gente
  • The RAE’s books are seriously usefulThe RAE’s books are seriously useful They publish dictionaries, grammars, andThey publish dictionaries, grammars, and spelling guides.spelling guides. I love their spelling guide,I love their spelling guide, Ortografía de laOrtografía de la lengua española.lengua española. It is the direct descendent of the RAE’sIt is the direct descendent of the RAE’s second publication, the 1741second publication, the 1741 OrtographíaOrtographía.. It devotes 65 pages just to accent marks!It devotes 65 pages just to accent marks!
  • The RAE inventedThe RAE invented ¡¡ andand ¿¿ They thought it would be helpful to readersThey thought it would be helpful to readers to know that an exclamation or questionto know that an exclamation or question was starting.was starting. In 1741 they proposed usingIn 1741 they proposed using !! andand ?? “as“as is”.is”. They came up with the idea of invertedThey came up with the idea of inverted marks in 1754.marks in 1754. For more, see this post.For more, see this post.
  • The RAE isn’t afraid of controversyThe RAE isn’t afraid of controversy  They eliminatedThey eliminated chch andand llll as “letters” of theas “letters” of the alphabet in 1994.alphabet in 1994.  They took flak from Spanish speakers aroundThey took flak from Spanish speakers around the world, including Hugo Chávez (who wantedthe world, including Hugo Chávez (who wanted to spelling his name with ato spelling his name with a cheche) but the change) but the change was accepted anyway.was accepted anyway.  Ecuador was the only country whose AcademyEcuador was the only country whose Academy voted against the change.voted against the change.  Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay abstained.Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay abstained.
  • The Academy systemThe Academy system helps makes Spanish specialhelps makes Spanish special  French, Italian, Arabic, German, and PortugueseFrench, Italian, Arabic, German, and Portuguese also have Academies.also have Academies.  But the Spanish academy is the mostBut the Spanish academy is the most international and active!international and active!  In the 18In the 18thth century, English-language notablescentury, English-language notables including Jonathan Swift and John Adamsincluding Jonathan Swift and John Adams proposed an Academy system for English.proposed an Academy system for English.  Samuel Johnson opposed the idea, writing:Samuel Johnson opposed the idea, writing: “To enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are“To enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride, unwilling toequally the undertakings of pride, unwilling to measure its desires by its strength."measure its desires by its strength."  Johnson won!Johnson won!