Back to Index

LANGUAGE: The language battles



Les Robinson and Raśl Escalante correctly point out that in Spanish, "este..." and "pues..." play the role of "um". "eh", "you know", used by people who are trying to find the next word. They might in Spanish be called "ripio", a word used to fill in a blank in poetry. I believe it is the Peruvians who are called "puesistas". "Este" and "pues" at least are, um, words. There must be similar crutches in all languages. Can WAISers, well, tell us what they are in other languages, beginning with Arabic? Perhaps, since Arabic is a whole family of dialects, it varies from region.

Raśl also says: "Many English-speaking orators get carried away by the sound and cadence of their voices (at least their audiences get carried away). The best example I can think of (in real life) is Dr. Martin Luther King whose oratory is powerful enough to bring tears to any good Latin heart. And wasn't the Queen's good English the language in which "Friends, Romans, countrymen..." was written in, as well as other crowd-stirring speeches in literature, surely meant to be performed by oratory giants".

Well, at least Marc Anthony didn't say "Friends, um, Romans, you know, countrymen". But I bet Ceaser did. He was a soldier and spoke vulgar Latin. It was for that crime against the langauge of Virgil, um, that he was stabbed. And Shakespeare's Henry V, another soldier, said "Once more, um, to the breech..."

Ronald Hilton - 4/10/01


Webmaster