Because English is so dynamic, fluid and adaptable I no longer bat an eyelid when I see a LOL or ROTF. I expect that. After all, social networking sites’ roots are mainly Anglophone. But that such an austere language like Spanish dares to use a verb like “Twitear” (literally, “to tweet), is taking the biscuit.
|Yo twiteo, nosotros twiteamos...|
Because of the Spanish language’s structure – long, three or four-line paragraphs can easily be made up of one single sentence with many subordinate ones – Twitter would be the last place where you would find fluent and articulate Spanish speakers. Which logically poses a hurdle to us. And where there is a hurdle, there exists the desire to overcome it. That’s how we come up with aberrations like “ke” (“que”, “what” or “that”).
Is there a way back from this situation? There has certainly been a backlash. Unfortunately it has been led by academics and language specialists for whom even my Cuban accent would be an anomaly. That, to me, is taking it too far. I would dare to ask Twitter to increase its word limit, just for the sake of Hispanics. But having read recently that he media giant is planning to float in the New York Stock Exchange in November, I thought that maybe Jack Dorsey would be too occupied to answer my phone calls. Or my tweets.
The linguistic fate of the Spanish language on most social media, especially Twitter, is one of those topics that becomes like the annoying fly that drives you mad at dinnertime. Very rarely you will be able to swat it and when you least expect it, it will alight on your food. “Twiteando” to the whole world.
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 27th October at 10am (GMT)