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Of words

September 21, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadOf words
Ronald Roy — Sept. 24, 2015

In the English language, a word is any of nine parts of speech, namely, noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunction, article, preposition and interjection. Any misused, abused or mispronounced word may create a disaster among friends or nations. Such is the power of words, written or oral. There are, of course, other ways meanings are lost, such as when one is so hard of hearing he may sign up as an unintended lender.
Our native tongue is Tagalog, and we speak over 80 dialects all over the islands, and yet we often use a borrowed language like English in our daily dealings. Is it then any wonder that in Asia we have the highest English proficiency level? However, this is not to say we are not guilty of some infamous barbarisms.
For Instance, the words “printable”, “readable” and “doable” respectively mean “capable of being printed, read or done”. Now, does the atrocious word “presidentiable” mean “capable of being presidented”?! No, because “president” is a noun, not a verb! The grammatical rule says suffixes like “-able” and “-ible” (as in discernible) can be appended only to transitive verbs. [ Now it’s off my chest…whew!]

Impaired relations
Here is an example of how mispronunciation or inarticulate-ness can trigger a souring of diplomatic relations between two countries. A Visayan emcee introduces the guest of honor this way: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Hess-ceiling-say (His Excellency), President Shit You (Hsieh Tiu).
Well, election fever has started to soar, and it is not a coincidence that words are now beginning to rear their ugly heads at the hustings, a milieu where electoral muckrakers and propagandists are known to employ various verbal methods of deception. Thus, our pre-election search for the right leaders may yet be derailed by the numerous conventional and digital paraphernalia one finds everywhere! Calling all media practitioners, netizens, everybody — choose your words well if you love your country!
Scandalous word wars serve no other purpose than to entertain the mischievous and idle-minded, but not, say, tersely-worded headlines. A case in point is the Inquirer’s recent headline “I’m your next President”, which is an obviously negative spin since it implies that the statement’s maker, presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe, is a haughty and presumptuous person.
What was omitted from the statement was her phrase “by God’s Grace”, and only the writer knows if the spin was deliberate — and there’s the rub. The point of all this is that words, which have the capacity to build or destroy, may inflict incalculable harm to others, the gullible in particular. Would that glib salesmen and demagogues were placed on notice here.

The wonders of silence
An irritatingly talkative and opinionated person ought to realize that our world would be a better place to live in if he just kept his trap shut and listened. By mastering his own silence, he stands to learn more from others and expose less of his ignorance. Again, let it be warned that political demagoguery is the least we need in the search for our next set of leaders. May enlightenment guide us in that search.
There seems to be more confusion than enlightenment that the overeager Senate Yellow Ribbon Committee is creating in its months-long investigation of VP Jojo Binay for corrupt practices allegedly committed by him when he was Makati City’s Mayor years ago. “The timing is suspicious”, he asks, “is it because elections are near?”
Voluminous testimonial and documentary pieces of evidence have been ventilated to no avail, it seems, because the Vice President is charging back with a massive libel suit against his detractors. Certainly, we must respect his right to repel in a court of law what he sees as verbal assaults against his dignity. Words do build or destroy, don’t they?

Crystal ball
— I reiterate what I wrote some weeks back: Leni Robredo would loom as Mar Roxas’ running mate.
— I previously reckoned that Poe’s announcement of her presidential candidacy would instantly create a bandwagon of supporters. However, anything can happen in the next 8 months, given the usual shifty imponderables in our electoral culture.
— Dark clouds lie ahead. The ravages of climate change will intensify. Transport snags, corruption and criminality will overwhelm the best governance our new leaders can muster.
— Our citizens’ deliverance from misrule will come only by reason of their empowerment and collective supplications and faithful words.

Joke only
— Is it true that if trigger-happy Rod Duterte runs for vice president and wins, the newly elected president should start looking after his personal safety?

Seriously now
— The Asperger’s syndrome is more serious than once believed. In the President’s case, one: truths have alternatives, and two: those who do not use the Yellows’ daang matuwid (righteous path) have alienated God from their lives. Hmmm…but isn’t that such self-righteousness that consigns the Yellows to that eternally scorching place?!

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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