Reading the Press


For professional reasons, I’ve been reading more press than usual. Now and then a subject catches my attention. I recently came across an article I intend to keep, translate and offer to my divers: the bachelor ones!


I’m not an avid newsreader. I just like to have an idea of what is going on and for that I have Paul’s morning highlights, besides other work activities I do. I don’t like to obsess about the news. I like the news as an exercise of free thought.


So I read the press selecting material corresponding to my own ideas and tastes or – rarely – if it surprises me. For instance, in a well-known magazine I recently found that I am not the only one thinking mirrors are fat big liars. The article points out that people perceive themselves thinner or fatter than they really are. So, the article reads, “the first step might be to find an objective arbiter.” Though I think it’s a reasonable advice, I was left wondering how someone would react if by chance I approach and ask:


“Would you mind to be my mirror?”


The following page left me completely startled. I heard of all kind of assassinations, but stabbing words is simply absurd. It seems that the publishers of an English dictionary want to eliminate words less used to make room for new ones. 


Hey, I thought people should decide whose words go or stay! I though more words mean a richer language! I just want to show my deepest sympathy and solidarity to the word lovers who think this is a dumb idea. I can say I am against and here I add the reason why I don’t like it at all.


Words are not only a privilege of restrict groups. They have a broader value that goes beyond the borders of a region, a country, a continent or a specific group of users.


Some words those publishers think to be useless are very much alive in other languages and it’s a shame to see someone doing steps to separate people instead of bringing them together.


Oppugnant is pretty used in Portuguese, my first language. It sounds like oponente, though we use more opositor. Nitid is an everyday word for us: nítido. I believe mansuetude translates into Portuguese in one of my favorite words: mansidão. The adjective apodeitic has a Portuguese relative sounding like apodíctico. Caducity, the word I would use to quality people wanting to kill words, is in Portuguese very much alive as caducidade.


There are words I cannot identify in my own language (e. g. fubsy or embrangle….), but they sound so beautifully I can only ask: why?


And to end this note about the international (add historical, literary, cultural…) value of words, I sellect agrestic. If not for any other reason, agrestic is agreste, the word Jorge Amado picked for his well-loved novel “Tieta do Agreste”!


I don’t have anything against new words. I just think people don’t communicate better if the list available is shorter!