Sunday, 30 March 2008

Words and Phrases

The London Paper (no está online los fines de semana) es uno de los cuatro diarios que se reparten gratis en Londres.

Todos los días publican una columna escrita por lectores. Y esto que copio es una escrita por Jon Armistead y es muy interesante para quienes quieran tener una idea de algunas frasecitas que se han puesto de moda y de las cuales él se queja.

Aquí la copio y lo que está en bold es lo que quise destacar, o sea, originalmente no aparecen en el texto.

Su columna se titula:

SO BASICALLY, ERM, IT’S OUR LANGUAGE

Language is a fluid thing that is constantly changing to fit our times and one of the many amazing faculties of the human brain is that as speech is updated, so too is our understanding of these changes.

For a good while now “basically” has been used as the new “erm”. For example, we will often hear someone who has been asked a question reply with a drawn-out “basically” – before stringing along some nonsense that they pass off as an answer (i.e. “Basically, I don’t know where she is”).

Other people say “erm, basically” before embarking upon an answer. This renders them wither clever or ignorant: clever because they are buying themselves a few more seconds to compose their new words, or ignorant because they are effectively saying “erm” twice. People who say “erm” twice are generally struggling for the answer due to ignorance.

“Eerm” can also be used to catch a person’s attention, and is often employed by someone who does not know the name of the person they are addressing. It is worth noting that when “erm” is used in this fashion, other less necessary words may be withdrawn. I often see this usage in the work place. Someone might say: “Erm; got an issue.” What they are trying to say here is “Excuse me, I have a problem with my computer. Can you help me, please?”

Some say “sorry” when in the past they may have said “excuse me”. This can be witnessed on the Tube when someone wants the newspaper that is on the shelf behind you. The speaker will reach over, saying “Sorry, just paper thanks.” The word “just” is whispered; the word “paper” and “thanks” are mouthed (the “ks” are audible).

There are those who employ a “literally” where an “is” will suffice. One of my friends went through a phase of saying “blatantly” (e.g. “It’s blatantly freezing”).

Some words have seeped in from America, such as “kinda”. There are people who say “smart” instead of “clever”, “cookie” instead of “biscuit” and “people!” or “guys!” instead of “excuse me, everybody!” “I was like” seems to have become the new “so I said”.

In summary, the “erm” that became “basically” is the new “excuse me”, while “sorry” has also replaced “excuse me”, “problems” are now “issues” and both men ad women are “guys”.

8 comments:

natalia said...

hi there!!me causa gracia este articulo, ya que durante este verano que pasó, me converti en una gran fanatica de la serie inglesa "as if", que trata de un grupo de jovenes de 17/18 años con diferentes problematicas etc etc... (vos seguro que la debes haber escuchado nombrar)... y sabes que de tanto verla se te pegan estas fracesitas como "hey you guys!!" o "so sorry..." en fin, yo en lo personal, le vería el lado buenoa este tema jejeje... pero es solo una opinion....
un saludote desde aca!!!! natalia

K-®y said...

Muy buen artículo. Gracias por compartirlo :)

Alicia in England said...

Natalia,

rings a bell, pero no, no la miro. Gracias por pasar.

Kary,

Gracias a vos por pasar y comentar!

Anonymous said...

Esta es mi columna! Estoy honrado de que debe usar en este modo.

Lo he hecho más en la escritura ...

wordsandpeople.blogspot.com

disfrutar!

A. Armistead said...

Esta es mi columna! Estoy honrado de que debe usar en este modo.

Lo he hecho más en la escritura ...

wordsandpeople.blogspot.com

disfrutar!

A. Armistead said...

Esta es mi columna! Estoy honrado de que debe usar en este modo.

Lo he hecho más en la escritura ...

wordsandpeople.blogspot.com

disfrutar!

A. Armistead said...

Esta es mi columna! Estoy honrado de que debe usar en este modo.

Lo he hecho más en la escritura ...

wordsandpeople.blogspot.com

disfrutar!

A. Armistead said...

Esta es mi columna! Estoy honrado de que debe usar en este modo.

Lo he hecho más en la escritura ...

wordsandpeople.blogspot.com

disfrutar!

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