Pedro Álvarez de Miranda: “The language of young people is also a source of wealth” | EUROtoday

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The educational brings collectively his linguistic popularization articles in ‘Counting the phrases’

Peter Alvarez of Miranda.
Peter Alvarez of Miranda.ANTONIO HEREDIA
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There is a second in measure the phrases, by the linguist Pedro Álvarez de Miranda (Espasa), wherein the textual content focuses on the expression “I am going to go”, which will be summarized in a paradox: the verb go seems thrice in a row however that solely implies that the topic of the sentence by no means simply leaves. And to the writer of measure the phrases That expression appears excellent to him, it looks as if a captivating whim that language provides us, simply as nature provides canines that appear like their masters and bushes which might be like lovers embracing. A pleasant discovered object.

In that anecdote the spirit of measure the phrases, the ebook that brings collectively the work in press of Álvarez de Miranda, lexicographer, professor, educational on the RAE and collaborator of EL MUNDO. Álvarez de Miranda doesn’t quarrel, he doesn’t suggest or keep in mind norms (or not with a judicial emphasis) nor does he make pessimistic predictions a few future wherein Spanish audio system will talk like cavemen. He doesn’t develop into, by any means, elitist or heat the heads of his readers with archaisms. On the opposite, the writer describes and investigates the origin of expressions such because the “old man” of Muchachada Nui and in conflicts like that of the toponym of Sanxenxo/Sangenjo (briefly, let everybody say what they need however “Sangenjo” is an outdated kind, it was not an invention of national-Catholicism).

Álvarez de Miranda is already very near retirement on the college, and that, partially, explains measure the phrases. “My academic career is now ending and I suppose the temptation to make a somewhat ambitious disclosure is natural. The audience for academic studies is thin, we all want to reach broader audiences. What I would like to convey is the idea that each word has its own story, that each word lives in its time. And that the history of a lexicon is the history of the people who speak it.”

And how is that story going? “All those words that end in ism… defeatism, catastrophism, alarmism… None of that suits me. Every time I hear people say that people talk worse than ever, I relativize; and I believe that not only do I relativize, but also anyone who does. dedicate himself to studying the language. What do we speak but broken Latin? Once they interviewed me and a headline came out that was: ‘Today’s error is tomorrow’s norm’. I’ll put it another way: If speakers insist on being wrong, they will end up being right.“.

“Teenagers will already discover the pleasure of using language carefully and being precise, as has happened to all of us,” continues Álvarez de Miranda. “And its language is also a source of wealth, you don’t have to blame them for everything. Insti seems like a wonderful apocope to me. Or weekend. I proposed that weekend enter the Dictionary of the Spanish Language. The academics said no and, two years later, they rectified and admitted it verbally.”

And is not the space of communication between generations rising increasingly more? Aren’t we mother and father a bit of barbaric for these youngsters who’re referred to as bro? “What is our distance of incommunication? One century, two, three? If I could speak with Larra, he with his 19th century Spanish and I with his contemporary, I am sure we would understand each other. With Jovellanos too. With Garcilaso we will have it difficult and with Gonzalo de Berceo, impossible. Change may be accelerating in our world but grandparents and grandchildren talk and understand each other. Teenagers have some of their own slang, but we’ve all had that. “Languages ​​that don’t change are as a result of they’re useless.”

The temptation is to search the texts of Álvarez de Miranda the personal portrait sketch of a character who expresses himself through his curiosity for words. “I used to be a studious baby, I obtained good grades, I did not trigger issues. I did highschool in science as a result of I had lots of doubt about what to review and I assumed it will be much less problematic to do science and from there transfer on to a profession in literature than if I did the other. In the tip, that is what occurred. I suppose I used to be influenced by my household surroundings, which was stuffed with literate folks, and a few good trainer who taught me, though I needed to take Latin reinforcement as a result of I used to be very brief once I entered faculty. Then there was one other second of many doubts once I had to decide on between Linguistics and Literature. I had so many doubts that I took each specialties, Linguistics as an official scholar and Literature, alone. I feel you possibly can inform, that, As a linguist, I speak lots about literaturesimilar to Manuel Seco did, who was one among my nice lecturers together with Rafael Lapesa”.

-A curiosity: do you have a good ear for languages? Because Measuring Words is full of illustrated explanations with the contrast between Spanish, French, Catalan, English, German…

-No, or not very fine. And it makes me angry. I defend myself in French, Italian and English, but I despair because I realize that I never manage to express myself with the precision I would like. And then I become inhibited. I really like Italian, I am very interested in language, partly because it is not as similar to Spanish as we think. But I don’t imagine myself as an Italian linguist.

“I do not use the phrase scientist a lot to explain my work,” the academic concludes. “For the report, I do imagine that it’s a scientific work, that we linguists work very significantly, however sounds a bit presumptuous to me that insistence on the phrase scientific. On the opposite hand, the phrase philologist doesn’t fall out of my mouth. There was a time when the phrase philology was on the verge of extinction however I feel that has already handed.” Let the final phrase of the textual content be that, philology.