13 de novembro de 2007

Spittin' "fres" and "fes"

This is a true story. I think you'll get the point.

Back in the 1980s:

Sis (who was a very precocious blonde) should be about 8 or 9 and was talking enthusiastically of her PE teacher:
"Onofe this, Onofe that, blablabla, Onofe".
"Onofe?! Where did you hear that name? It's O-no-fre!" - said Mum, who was always the correcting kind.
"Mummy dear (this was before the dahh era!), it's O-no-fe, because I heard people say guindastre and I know it is guindaste!
Mum (one of those blondes with answers for everything) paralysed at the brilliance of her daughter (well, I confess I paralysed too to see Mum paralysed)!


As all good blond bimbos I also think that there's nothing better to relieve stress than a nice workout. And so, in one of my regular incursions to the gym, I was met by this overwhelming notice pined up in all four walls of the changing room: "Favor deixar os cacifres abertos. Pel'A Gerência" and the accompanying signature to make the thing official and commanding.
"Cacifres?!" I was in the treadmill and all I could think was "cacifres", I was doing my share of pump ups and my mind revolved around "cacifres", even the pain of abdominals was nothing compared to the pang in my head screaming "cacifres".
When I finished my session I was a determined woman. I was on a rescuing mission and my sanity depended on that. The Portuguese language I was once forced to learn was agonising in those public walls. And so, a bit like George Bush, I went and talked to God!
And God was the head supervisor of the receptionists at the gym.
"Cacifres?! Oh m'am what a mistake! I'll make sure it gets corrected immediately!"
I went home with a relieving sense of accomplishment: I had done the world of words a public good!
Next time I went to the gym I was received by a proud sign all in super bold saying: "Por favor deixar os cacifes abertos", and again signed and stamped with all pomp and circumstance by the management. I crumbled to my feet... I admit I gave up. I had talked to God and God failed me. I couldn't make God correct yet another mistake. Who was I to imply God had erred again?
For reasons not worth mentioning I stopped going to that gym some months later.

This day and age:

Also for reasons not worth mentioning, I returned now to that same gym. Surprise, surprise... my dear sign was waiting for me...

In two years nobody bothered that there's no such thing as "cacifes", either that or Mum's efforts to educate me were in vain. The issue is, we, no, no, let me correct this, some supreme entity is talking about making some linguistic arrangements that, by the looks of it, will have to be legislated. What wonderful thing, coersive legislation to make us speak better when we are still fighting alarming percentages of illiteracy? Aren't priorities a bit inverted? We are talking about linguistic purism when we should be concentrating on the basics. Am I seeing all this wrong?

13 comentários:

indomável disse...

My dear blond bimboette,

On the last post I finished stating what a good thing it is to know there are other smart girls out there. I wasn't deceived.
Even better. I now know I'm not alone in this war against badly spoken and written languages...

My husband usually says is't like knives going in, when I spot a mistake. He's right.
We should begin with the basics. It's really alarming how people aren't even aware that they're wrong. Worse when they think we're snobs because we care (it's true, it happened to me!).

Maybe now, that I know there's a comunity out there who thinks the same way, it won't hurt so much!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Indomável,
Girls of the world unite! Let them think we're snobs! At least we care about something!

quintarantino disse...

Now Miss Blond, what the hell are you doing young lady?
Haven´t you heard? These are the times of freedom, yuppie hey, I can do what the heck I want. Now if I want to write "cacifes" or "cacifres" what does that no good, two times, blond as to do with that? tell me, please. Better, now I'm gonna star writting everything how I feel. Still want to see that sneaky blond correct me, M'am beg your pardon, but I thaink you must have to learn some basic stuff. What? Now, how the hell was I thinking on something and my fingers writting these bad things about this precious friend of mine? Must see what´s wrong with me. Sorry, sorry nothing you tutti-frutti, hey come on... stop it fingers, it´s blondie, what? the one of "osnofe"? why di´dn´t you say that sooner? You rotten turnip head. Blondie, we are with you. He is with you. Everyone should be with you.

quintarantino disse...

Beg your pardon, Blondie, for those mistakes above. These rusty fingers. By the way, just take a trip with that other blond Aguilera and her "Back to basics".

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Quinn,
Care to translate, please? I understand zilch:D

NuNo_R disse...


I think that the correct word is "cacifos". eheh


quintarantino disse...

Translate? What? No way... I already told you that I never argue with a blond!

António de Almeida disse...

We have some linguistic pearls, like "puribido bazar lixo", or in an algarvian restaurant "we have understands". If writing in portuguese is difficult, imagine english!

antonio disse...

Hum! So in english it will be! My dear Blonde, all portuguese blondes are fake, your sign just prove it!

(da próxima volto ao português)

Blondewithaphd disse...

Feel free to go to the gym and ask them to correct the word. God knows I've tried!

Blondewithaphd disse...

António de Almeida,
Believe me when I say I admire all those that write wonderful Portuguese! What a difficult language!
I'm still laughing at "puribido", I had to read out loud to understand:D

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio,
Does that mean I'm a brunette at heart? (By the way, loved your English!)

antonio disse...

Nunca me atrevo a olhar para o coração das mulheres, não sei se por receio ou porque me distraio antes... mas talvez tenhas razão.