El asociado emprende
“un cacho” in Spanish.
Once I was listening to the Spanish radio and when the
introducer asked the caller the question:
-What are you doing?
the answer was:
- I am eating a “chunk
” of orange.
Suddenly, that orange for me was dripping with juice,
badly cut, seeping disgustingly through his dirty hands,
and not very appetizing. If he had said instead, “a
piece, a slice” the orange in my mind would have been
totally different and I would have been more interested
in the words of the radio caller who was discredited for
just one wrongly used word. Don’t misunderstand me.
The word “chunk” in English or “cacho” in Spanish
may be perfectly accepted by both languages, but they
depict two very different speakers.
Words shape minds and not the other way round. This
is an eternally repeated sentence by linguists. You,
me, we, may have a bright idea but if we are not able to
communicate it, we are lost and the idea will be equally
Everybody should be aware of the power of words, for
the two obvious reasons, to avoid harming others - the
wound of words is something unbeatable-, and to reach
your aims when you want to communicate -attract,
convince, sell, impose yourself...
But, one public sector who should be especially aware
of words is politics and politicians. Words are all they
have, words wrapped in promises, packed in insults,
words like hooks to fish the citizens attention and to
make them choose this or that leader or party. This is
why paying attention to the words of our politicians is
so important when you don’t know who to vote.
Some studies say that tall leaders have an advantage
over short ones, others talk about the colors of their
ties and suits chosen when they appear in public, and
some others evaluate the energy they have when the
travel the country during their political campaigns. But
I say, pay attention to their words, close your eyes and
see how they speak more than what they speak- notice
the linguistic contradiction.
“YES, WE CAN” were excellent words for a campaign,
in fact, any campaign, it means “all of us together
will reach our objective”, positive and powerful
putting emphasis on togetherness. Unfortunately,
many of our politicians cannot afford such powerful
words, most of them simply lack of meaningful words
and keep beating about the bush. “TICK TOCK”, is
another successful option, more aggressive in my
opinion, meaning “it’s high time for you to go”,
or the unforgettable “Go away Mr González”, fully
personalized and with no other poor aim but taking
over his rival’s position.
But deep down, I believe everybody understands the
weight of words, and that even though some of our
present rulers pretend to be deaf, they also fear the
power of words, otherwise no one could understand
how a legal judge can be suspended from his legal
position just for writing well chosen “words”.
MANAL ZAHRAA MURAD