fri 22 aug 2008 06:17:47 witte de withstraat
don't take me as evil!
upon reflection, it occurred to me that there's really nothing wrong with saying "op geef'ment" that isn't also wrong with saying "alstublieft".
okay it's a sloppy freakin contraction, or shall we say, a sloppifaction. but really, "op een gegeven moment" [at a given moment] corrupts to "op geef'ment" the same way as "als het u blieft" [if it pleases you] corrupts to "alstublieft". fine then.
but what the heck are we gonna do with the amazing expression "neem mij niet kwalijk"?
see, when dutch people wanna excuse themselves, they can say "sorry", "pardon", "excuses" or in extreme cases "het spijt mij". but still used with inexplicable frequency is "neem mij niet kwalijk", which translates literally to "don't take me as evil".
this amazing expression is for when there's no real apology necessary, usually the speaker is just interrupting you for some small help. for example:
"don't take me as evil, but which way is it to the post office?"
naturally the person doesn't want to be taken as evil just for asking what time it is, or if you have a light, or whether the train to utrecht is delayed. this is an important social distinguisher: i mean, there may be those who do ask the way to the post office for evil purposes. remember the unabomber?
but as common as it is, i have yet to hear a proper sloppifaction for that expression. most of the time people still pronounce it clearly enough even for me to hear them. this is costing the nederlanders a lot of time and lost productivity. so as part of my inburgering i will undertake to join the inevitable linguistic evolution here, and propose my own sloppifactions, together with a schedule for their coming online.
anno 2008: "neem mij niet kwalijk" ...
invoer anno 2013 ... "nemaalik!"
anno 2025 ... "neelk!"
anno 2099 ... "uh!"
yes, by the century's end, i propose that all words should be condensed to "uh", in a fulfilment of what kh and i used to call the "shwazucht" or the craving for shwa.
the benefits in productivity and efficiency will be enormous. for one thing, keyboards and touchpads will be much easier to use when there is only the "Ə" key to contend with. typography will be much simpler, dictionaries will be smaller. and with only one letter and one sound in language, the savings in telecom bandwidth will be simply, uh ...
not to mention the fact that humans will then be able to communicate directly with dairy cows.