Of creoles and other “undignified” speaks…

2015/08/02

What a scintillating sensation on the tongue — now, now — when saying “Me gwan fill ma belly” and “methinks I shall find sustenance.” OK, I only think but don’t say either phrase, unless chatting with close friends. Yet the former statement is a dart to the bull’s-eye of my desire to satiate my appetite. When *tings* get primal — be the desire for food, water, sex, inner peace or safe shelter (in any sequence but nevertheless linked to survival) — my mind-spirit connects to Mamma Africa, no matter how mixed my ancestry and no matter how Eurocentric my primary and secondary educational experiences.

Thus, I urge (with the pronunciation “uhhhje”) you all to read blogger louella001’s essay, below: “Of creoles and other ‘undignified’ speaks.”

louella001

Being from the Caribbean, I unavoidably grew up in a place with more than one register. There’s the queen’s English, then there’s broken English or more particularly, Trinidadian English, which isn’t a standardised form of usage of the English language. Rules are rules. So, how come we find so may snatches of one language buried so deeply into the culture of another that the users of the language don’t even know the actual origin of the words they use? A perfect example is one that I heard from a friend of mine of African language influencing our Trinidadian creole. Who knew that obzokee, meaning funny looking, is of African origin? Or yampee is the mucus that collects at the corner of your eyes. Or a sou sou, which is a system of saving where all members pay installments of a sum of money over a period of time…

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