A different kind of 'big-up'

Letters to the Editor

A different kind of 'big-up'

Friday, November 29, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

I have two personal theories which may probably explain the unfortunate outburst by Waldane Walker during his valedictory speech at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts' graduation ceremony.

1) People often resort to expletives when they lack the appropriate vocabulary to express their immediate thoughts.

2) The Jamaican dialect (patois) is sometimes better able to express some things more briefly than Standard English. This, of course, depends on your audience.

Case in point: Jamaican “big up” can only be expressed in Standard English as “Magnify”, “Enlarge”, or “Glorify, as in The Magnificat — Luke 1:46, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Jamaican “unuh-self” means “All of you or you all.”

The b....c.... is like a glorification of the individuals concerned.

The four words expressed so vociferously may have been said as: “May you all praise yourselves for your marvellous achievements.” But, of course, this would have had far less impact.

Ronald R Fagan


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon