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Jakarta Post

Anton M. Moeliono: The walking dictionary

  • Setiono Sugiharto

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 28 2009   /  09:07 am

Anton M. Moeliono: JP/Setiono SugihartoHe has been dubbed the guru of all gurus, the pereksa (the guardian) and champion of the Indonesian language. Some call him a creative neologist; others refer to him simply as “the walking dictionary”. Anton Moeliono, the man with a dozen sobriquets, was the face of state-owned TVRI television program Siaran Pembinaan Bahasa Indonesia (The Cultivation of the Indonesian Language Broadcast) between 1973 and 1977. “Cultivating one’s language is vital because it can become a valuable conduit helping people use language in a correct and intelligent way,” Anton says.Language prescriptivism enthusiasts are undoubtedly acquainted with Anton’s Santun Bahasa (proper language), a language column published in the daily newspaper Kompas between 1968 and 1971.A Cornell University graduate, Anton became a noted figure when he chaired the commission tha...