Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sanjeev Sethi


To untutored ears that prattle is poetry
in perfect English but to others his pidgin
gone kaput is at best murmuration in recitative
tones. Seen through prism of cordate privilege
as with this moppet’s covey of mollycoddlers,
his gig is heavenly. If his anytime-anyplace
ear-popping indulgences tear into your territory,
his hoo-ha will get you to sigh, good heavens!
 -- Renaissance Funk

1 comment:

  1. Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
    Success in circuit lies,
    Too bright for our infirm delight
    The truth's superb surprise;

    As lightning to the children eased
    With explanation kind,
    The truth must dazzle gradually
    Or every man be blind.

    --Emily Dickinson

    Cordate means "heart-shaped," especially when referring to leaves, but also shells, etc. A covey a brood (family) or small flock of birds, especially partridges or quails. The word comes from the Old French word for brood ("covee"), the feminine past participle of "cover" (to incubate), which came from the Latin "cubāre" (to lie down]. A murmuration is a flock of starlings, especially a massive flock that shifts suddenly in flight, creating a kaleidoscopic image in the sky, but it is also the act of murmuring. Sometimes the word "pidgin" (formerly also spelled "pigion") has been derived from the word "pigeon" because the bird was used to carry brief written messages, but most likely it came from a Chinese pronunciation of the English word business. It first appeared in print in 1850 as a reference to Chinese Pidgin English but was later generalized to refer to any pidgin. Pidgins often begin as (or become) trade languages, such as Tok Pisin, which derived from the English phrase, "talk pidgin." A pidgin is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between groups without a common language, mostly employed in situations such as trade or where both groups speak languages different from that of the place they reside. It is a simplified means of linguistic communication that is constructed in an impromptu way or by convention, built from words, sounds, or body language. Each pidgin develops its own norms of usage, which must be learned for proficient communication. It is not the native language of any speech community but is learned as a second language; their first language is called a "creole," which has a fully developed vocabulary and grammar and has become established through its nativization as children of pidgin-speakers use it as their primary language. It can also influence the vernacular of an established language, especially among people who are directly involved in the trade where it is commonly used, or it can result in a regional dialect. Pidgins can also evolve into fully developed languages (such as Swahili) which are distinct from the languages they were originally influenced by.


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