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Sep 25th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako An Open Letter on the DIPHTHONG Debate
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 11:41

 

By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako 

 

I began to write this story as a comment, to LOLO Bobby Reyes's story titled, "Egad, Joseph Lariosa Comes Up with an Opus on the New Country Code for the Philippines (AKA “Pilipinas”)." But it got too long to be a comment.  So, I thought I might as well use it na lang as my column this week.

 

It's short and blunt and direct to the point. And, devoid of pomposity.  It's a point of view, Dear Readers. If people are going to hate me for it, so be it. Shoot me. Curse me. Sue me. Spread lies about me.  Smear feces on my photos and writings. But you ain't gonna shut my mouth, that's for sure. So here it is. Happy reading:

 

LOLO Bobby, Botomites, Et Al ... and Joseph G. Lariosa (JGL), who started this topic or e-forum thread by writing This Is How I "PHL," Oops, Feel About the New Country Code for the Philippines:

 

Talking about DIPHTHONGS, now that Aquino Junior the Third, has taken the aka "P-Noy" (the P is pronounced as pee, and pee is the word, ihi in Tagalog), perhaps we can now call "Pinoys" as "Pe-Noys," so as to rhyme with "P-Noy's" name. To use it in a sentence, for instance, "The Pe-Noys under the administration of Pee-Noy are a poor lot because the Pe-noys are just being peed on by Pee-Noy."

 

Y'all follow?

 

BTW, may I remind JGL that the words "feel" and "fill" are pronounced differently, neither do they rhyme with the word, "Phil" at all.

 

I'll give JGL credit for creativity though, but to say, "PHL is a diphthong whose sound carries a concrete meaning for 'fill' or 'feel' to rhyme with 'phil' is WRONG. Because as I've said those three words have different pronunciations ... and different diphthongs altogether.

 

The word, DIPHTHONGS and I am going quote the American Heritage Dictionary, is defined as "a complex speech sound beginning with one vowel sound and moving to another vowel or semivowel position within the same syllable.  For example, 'oy' in the word 'boy' is a diphthong."

 

Furthermore (I googled this), the three major diphthongs in Standard English, which is known as phonemic diphthongs, are ai, aw, and oy.  All three of these diphthongs are very common, and many people simply think of them as single vowels in some contexts. 

 

For example, in the English word ride, the i would be transcribed phonetically as ai.  Although it appears as a single letter in our writing, it actually consists of two vowels – if you say the word you should be able to hear the two.  Similarly, the word how contains the diphthong aw at the end, and word boy contains the diphthong oy. 

 

I don't mean to lecture here. But, if that's THE definition of diphthong, then what JGL said that "PHL is a diphthong whose sound carries a CONCRETE MEANING for 'fill' or 'feel' to rhyme with 'phil' is, therefore, definitely and absolutely WRONG. Of course, I stand corrected, if I am the one who's wrong. No problemo. But then, no opinion is wrong. My grammar is wrong, maybe.  But not opinions: yours or mine.    

 

BOTOMO IS VULGAR WORD: Also, the word, "Botomo" has an obscene connotation to me. Because, the "boto" portion, of the botomo, if pronounced by a Bisayan or by a Bicolano, will sound like the word, "buto." And the word "buto" in Ilocano, means "cock" in English. Or, the male organ. And as we all know, the "mo" in botomo means "yours" in English, or in Tagalog, "sa 'yo." Catch my drift? In other words, "botomo," if translated in the English language is: "your cock." Or, "TT mo," in Tagalog. LOL.

 

Editor’s Notes: The Botomo e-newsgroup was organized

 to discuss election issues in the Philippines.

The root word, “Boto,” means “vote” and “mo” means “your.”

Botomo, as used in the e-forum, means “Your vote.”

 

P erhaps, that's the word that should be changed. Because of its vulgar DIPHTHONG connotation. To me, the name, "Philippines" as a name for our Inang Bayan is fine. For it has a royal connotation. As we all know, our Motherland was named after King Phillip of Spain, when the Spaniards first came and populated the land.

 

A NAME CHANGE FOR PHILIPPINES: The word, "PHILLAR" as a name for our country, is a stretch.  And talking about "Diphthongs," it has that dippity sound like "PILAY." And Pilay is another word for LUMPO.  Or, INUTIL. In English, as we all know, the word for PILAY is the word, INVALID. I really don't think we want that kind of diphthong connotation for our poor Motherland. She may be a poor invalid IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD, but to us Filipino Americans, she's beautiful, a mother that we go "home" to, now and then, to be embraced by her, and for us, to lay our heads on her comforting bosom. 

 

Diphthongs, ha? Okey ngarud, I think I'll go take a dip now in my tongs. Take care, y'all.  JJ    

 

 



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Comments (3)
1 Tuesday, 07 December 2010 14:31
Hi, JJ:

You raised a valid point: the Philippine word origin has royalty tacked in it. That is why, former Sen. Eddie Ilarde tried to change the name of our beloved motherland to "Maharlika," which means "free people." Perhaps, Mr. Ilarde did not want us to be identified with a royalty that enslaved and oppressed his own people.

I agree with you that the 'PHL" initial maybe wrong for "fill," "feel," "fell," or "peel," but those are words that are closely associated phonetically with it.

As to the "Botomo," your description of it was the main reason, I do not subscribe to this Listserv (note use of this trademark name as one word without "e" at the end and it starts with capital "L") newsgroup discussion. But it can also mean, "your vote" to make it more palatable.

Thanks for reading my column.

JGL
2 Tuesday, 07 December 2010 14:37
Joseph Lariosa wrote: QUOTE. I agree with you that the 'PHL" initial maybe wrong for "fill," "feel," "fell," or "peel," but those are words that are closely associated phonetically with it. UNQUOTE.

Hi all,

Have you heard a Filipino boxing champion sing "Feelings"? You've got to "peel" the song to like it. Sometimes, dipthongs and all, it sounds "fellllengs". Yeah, yeah felllllengs. That's the beauty of language.

Best regards,

Romy Marquez
3 Tuesday, 07 December 2010 14:38
Joseph Lariosa wrote: QUOTE. I agree with you that the 'PHL" initial maybe wrong for "fill," "feel," "fell," or "peel," but those are words that are closely associated phonetically with it. UNQUOTE.

Hi all,

Have you heard a Filipino boxing champion sing "Feelings"? You've got to "peel" the song to like it. Sometimes, dipthongs and all, it sounds "fellllengs". Yeah, yeah felllllengs. That's the beauty of language.

Best regards,

Romy Marquez

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