Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Nerd!

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Inquirer Opinion / Columns

Between Deadlines : Clueless in Congress, and the same alma mother


Posted date: September 01, 2007

That famous email. If you have an email account, chances are you’ve gotten at least one copy of a hilarious short story stitched together from Filipino-English malapropisms, the one that begins: “We’ve been friends for a long time ago. We come from the same alma mother.”

As it turns out, “A Love Story” (re-titled “The?!” in some emails, “You’re barking at the wrong leg” in others) was written as a joke by GMA Network news reporters Tina Panganiban-Perez, Kara David, Ruth Cabal, Joseph Morong, Nelson Canlas and Aubrey Carampel. Gosh, you never can tell.

Some of the malapropisms, connect me if I am wrong, can be traced to a beauty queen, an actress-turned-politician, even a former President. But most of those included in what is possibly the year’s most forwarded email were coined by these creative journalists while killing time in coverage or waiting for interviews. (Yes, it’s true good to be true.)

Reporters on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) beat saw it start. Once, barred from entering the Palacio del Gobernador building to cover Lintang Bedol’s first appearance before the commission after his arrest, they fumed when another reporter managed to sneak into the Comelec building. Under the searing midday sun, Panganiban-Perez quipped: “‘Pag nakita natin siya sa taas, sabihin natin: ‘Well, well, well, look do we have here...’”

It was enough to crack up the agitated group, and other malapropisms were exchanged the rest of the day. By evening, Perez texted her colleagues a partial list of “Worlds of Wisdom.” A few days later came the first version (as conceptualized by David) of “A Love Story.”

The group later uploaded a longer version of the story on to their personal websites and blogs. Then it began to circulate on the Internet, reaching Vancouver, Hong Kong and Bangkok, among many other cities -- without any attribution, however, to the authors or their websites. The nerd!

Issues over intellectual property rights notwithstanding, the group composed a sequel, titled “Sinetch si Jeff,” and then a pressed release from “Genie-fer,” the lovestruck girl in the first story, in a spirited defense of, well, her use of the English language.

“A Love Story” continues to gain in popularity. As for the authors, let’s cut them some slacks. Perez said she and her friends want to make it known that they can speak good, grammatically correct English. “Worlds of Wisdom” is simply a diversion, albeit one that has become a rebounding success. N. Dizon


houseband00 said...

Tina, wala bang public reading with Jimmy Santos? =)

tinapa said...

i have someone else in mind. maybe i can pm you instead. hehe.

houseband00 said...

Leave a comment on my blog. I won't publish it. Premise. =)