Joined: Apr 02, 2005
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|Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:05 pm Post subject: Lo que es no tener nada que hacer......
|Mexico City Journal
MEXICO CITY — Two teenage girls slurped iced coffee drinks at a sidewalk cafe the other afternoon and chatted away about boys, clothes, their weekend plans, whatever seemed to pop into their heads. They were clearly friends, but repeatedly referred to each other with a Spanish word meaning “ox” or “steer” or “stupid.”
The word — güey, also spelled buey — makes most lists of Mexican profanities, but it has been co-opted by the cool, young set as a term of endearment. One hears it constantly, as often as “dude” comes up in an English conversation.
Like many Mexicans, though, the teenage girls also dipped into a well-stocked arsenal of more potent curse words, most of which referred in one way or another to sex. Even those were uttered so casually, however, that they did not seem to carry much sting.
Mexicans, despite their reputation in Latin America for ultrapoliteness and formality, curse like sailors, a recent survey found. They use profanity when speaking with their friends, with their co-workers, with their spouses and even with their bosses and parents. On Independence Day, the thing to shout above all else is “Viva Mexico, Cabrones!” a patriotic exhortation directed at either bastards or buddies, depending on the tone employed.
Consulta Mitofsky, a Mexican polling firm, asked 1,000 Mexicans 18 and older about their use of “groserías,” as curse words are known in Spanish, and found that respondents estimated they used an average of 20 bad words a day. Those swearing the most, not surprisingly, were young people. “The generation younger than 30 sees the use of bad words as more natural and they use them not only in front of friends but, many of them say, in front of their parents or bosses,” the survey found.
Geographically, the worst offenders were in the north, near the border with the United States, and in the center of the country. Men were generally more foulmouthed than women, though not by much. People of higher socioeconomic levels were also more profane, the survey found, than those supposedly lower on the scale of success.
Cursing runs in families, the survey found, with those who acknowledged cursing the most saying that their parents used obscenities as well.
Raúl Trejo Delarbre, a sociologist at the National University of Mexico, said cursing can be done with creativity and can express emotions that are difficult to express with other words. But he also acknowledged that cursing can be just plain old cursing.
Using barnyard language is certainly not a Mexican phenomenon, he said, unleashing a couple of common American curse words to make his point.
Still, Octavio Paz, in his classic look at his country’s psyche, “The Labyrinth of Solitude,” spent some time assessing Mexican curses. “The forbidden words boil up in us, just as our emotions boil up,” he wrote. “When they finally burst out, they do so harshly, brutally, in the form of a shout, a challenge, an offense. They are projectiles or knives. They cause wounds.”
Exactly what is considered a bad word in Mexico can require some interpretation. There are various types of insults, some comparing people to animals, others referring to the diminished mental capacity of the recipient. Others refer to sex, naturally, using that most Mexican of words, “chingar,” which the Royal Spanish Academy of Language says is a derivative of the word “to fight” but that in Mexico can be very offensive or very innocuous or virtually anything in between.
“It is definitely personal,” the survey said of Mexicans’ propensity for cursing. “The same word applied in different contexts and in two different moments is seen in very different manners.”
It is almost always obvious, of course, when a curse is meant as a curse.
A woman walking by a group of construction workers the other day left no doubt as to her message when the men whistled at her and she shouted out a response. The electrical workers who were recently fired by President Felipe Calderón also clearly wanted the worst impression possible to be read into the protest signs they lofted. One banner, a tame one, referred to Mr. Calderón as a “pinche ladrón,” which can be translated as a “damn crook.” Pinche, though, can also be a word with no negative connotation at all, meaning a cook’s assistant.
A taxi driver who was trying to navigate through the electrical workers’ demonstration also used a string of sexually charged expletives when it became clear that his Volkswagen Beetle was going nowhere anytime soon.
It turns out, there is plenty to curse about in Mexico these days. The economy is in the doldrums, with a decline of 8 percent, one of the worst contractions in the world, expected this year. The politicians are up to their usual antics, and drug traffickers continue to rampage, competing with one another to see who can kill their opponents in the most gruesome fashion.
“I wouldn’t say that the tension of everyday life causes us to use bad words,” said Mr. Trejo, the sociologist. But then he seemed to reconsider, adding that an abundance of overbearing situations can certainly lead one to express frustration by swearing.
All this cursing adds up. If the estimates are true, the survey noted that Mexicans use 1.35 billion curse words daily, or 500 billion annually. The study’s authors, who probably sling their fair share of curse words, did not appear alarmed. “We shouldn’t be concerned when we hear such words, and it might be better to stop considering them curses at all,” they said.
Van creer estas pinches jaladas? realmente que beneficio tienen este tipo de estudio
Some people have chosen Jesus Christ as their own personal savior, I have accepted Johnny Cash as my own personal Jesus.