Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Word Play 101

Have you ever taken a second to ponder over our Malay language and some of its words? Sometimes I wonder what those people in DBP are actually doing because the way I look at it, they seem to be resting on their laurels and not doing much. Especially since information becomes informasi and globalization becomes globalisasi and the list goes on and on. But the best has got to be these two words: didemutualisasikan and diliberalisasikan. Whatever happened to dibebaskan? Doesn’t that carry the same meaning as that diliberablablabla word? Perhaps dibebaskan is just not fancy enough. I mean seriously, DBP, what the hell do you people do? Add a di and a kan and give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done?!

What about words like serenti, pengurup and menyampah? Hahahah now this will boggle your mind, I kid you not! Just work with me for a second here. If a word begins with a se- or a pe- and me-, they are known as imbuhan hence there’s a root word in there somewhere. For example the root word for penyapu is sapu. Therefore for the three words I mentioned above, I challenge you to tell me what is their root!

Here’s my take on it….

The root word for serenti is renti (which means stop according to the northern dialect!). Serenti is a place for drug addicts (oh wait sorry, the politically correct term these days would be drug users!) so the root word renti works fine here. In short, rentikanlah isap dadah tu! Hence, serenti.

As for pengurup, that has me stumped! Could it be kurup, or urup or ngurup? Macam cakap jawa la pulak!

Menyampah literally means having had enough of someone or something to the point of hatred. So the logical root word here, according to word etymology by me 101, is sampah! You hate sampah, don’t you? So that’s where menyampah came from!

I’ll bet there are more of these words around, but you get my drift.

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