Saturday, December 1, 2007

Squeeze Me!

If you've seen "Wayne's World," you know what this title means. Otherwise, go google it! I'm writing about something that I find incomprehensible in Brazil, namely, the widespread use of (bad) English. Reading the paper this morning, I came across (for the nth time!) the word botton. No, it's not bottom misspelled. It's a Brazilian version of button, you know, the little round thing we wear to advertise our candidate or opinion or whatever. The question that comes to mind is, if you're going to use a foreign word, why not spell it correctly? Beats me. Just like the T-shirts and tops. I went shopping the other day for one to take with me to the U.S. as a Christmas present. I was looking for something very carioca, obviously, with sayings in Portuguese, but was only able to find stuff displaying very incorrect English phrases. Why is that?

The article I mentioned was titled "Cool," just like that, in English. Now, since this word has a perfectly serviceable equivalent in Portuguese, I assumed that they were trying to be, well, cool, by using American slang. I thought: How totally uncool to make a mistake like that. But I suspect it's one that's so entrenched in the urban culture here that it's become impossible to eradicate.


Blogger Timber Beast said...

I think such things are akin to "eggcorns" where words in phrases misheard and then become acceptable.

December 23, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger Sheila Thomson said...

It may be so...Thanks for writing!!

December 24, 2007 8:33 AM  

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