May 02, 2007

The Time I Invented a New Language


Or, more accurately, the time I named a new language that my friend Gabriel invented. In his honor, I named the language Gabrish.
But don't tell Gabriel -- he doesn't know that he invented a new language. I am reminded of Gabrish by a headline in today's news: "Man Dies of Thirst During Survial Test."

You see, Gabrish is a form of malapropism. Gabriel is Romanian by way of Israel. He has an interesting accent, and an even more interesting choice of English words. Often, he uses the wrong word, sometimes a word that does not even exist, to describe something. Oddly enough, however, his word choice is, in a Freudian sense, often more apt than the intended word.

For example, I once emailed Gabriel a WordPerfect attachment from a PC to his Mac. This was in the old days when the two computer platforms weren't so compatible. Gabe emailed back, writing that my attachment came out as "gabrish." Obviously, he meant "gibberish," but Freud was in control of the moment. It was then that I realized that Gabe's language was special, and, in its own way, ingenious.

Today's headline leads a story about a man who died of thirst while taking a survival course. His guides had ample water to keep him alive, but refused to let him know about this, because they wanted him to pass the grueling course (over 100 hours in the desert with no water). It seems to me that the ghost of Freud entered the writer's hand, causing him to write "Survial" instead of "Survival."

Either that, or Gabrish has really caught on.

Note: By the time you read this post, the headline in question may well have been corrected. But trust me, it contained the word "Survial."

4 Comments:

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Ghetufool said...

good post. i miss your lighter post. the main reason why i used to come to your blog. nowadays, when i come it's a heady cocktail of politics and politics. alas...i am shy of anything related to politics, even if it is writing.

please start writing lighter notes for your not so politically conscious foolish readers. sorry for the gabrish!

thanks

 
At 10:12 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Thanks, but I thought I was doing pretty well with the lighter posts. Just looking at the last 15 posts, 6 of them are political in theme, and the rest are lighter posts. I'll try to keep a healthy ratio of light to heavy -- it's much more fun for me too!

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Ghetufool said...

may be i am wrong in my interpretation. yes, i see you are indeed writing lighter stuff.
but i enjoy this type of writing rather. i think i goofed up in my priority and your freedom. american music and concerts are as alien to me as politics.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

I should also say that what some call "politics," I view as the most important issues that affect our lives and the lives of billions of people in other countries. This includes war and peace, life and death, the future and health of the planet. These are important to me and I hope they are important to everyone. I would be remiss and lacking integrity not to write about these things, every now and then, mixed in with the light and fun stuff, when I feel they are important.

 

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