The purpose of this study is to examine some instances of the influence that the English language exerts upon Porteño Spanish both written and spoken, as well as the difference in the social significance of the use of words of English origin. Concerning the latter point, I will make use of some concepts taken from Sociolinguistics in order to cast further light on the subject. As to the sources of the material that will be here displaced, they can be –like the material itself - divided mainly into two.
On the one hand, I will deal with some expressions in formal Spanish characterized by two features: a) At the grammatical or (more often) semantic level, objections can be raised concerning its "appropriateness" as "standard" Spanish; and b) these expressions are unmistakably borrowed from an English language source and –in many cases "literally" or clumsily- translated into Spanish. These expressions can be found both in spoken (usually in a formal context) and written Porteño Spanish. However, most of the samples here included were drawn from the press, including one of the most important newspapers of Buenos Aires, Clarín. .
I have made this choice based on the following consideration: the media in general are said to be among the most powerful sources of language change, given the fact that they both originate and sanction modifications at the lexical and or phonological level. Besides, the press in particular is regarded –or, at least, it regards itself –as one of the main final authorities as far as the "proper" use of language is concerned. Nevertheless, it is in the press where "English-contaminated" forms of Spanish find their temple and headspring for propagation. This somehow paradoxical situation will be surveyed in the first part of this study.
On the other hand, the second part will be devoted to an examination of how a number of words of common use and English origin are pronounced.