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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

TV commercials

I have to admit that I am a couch potato. When I am not on the computer, there's a big chance (say about 90%) that I am in front of the television set. Like most men, you will find me with the remote on my hand, frequently changing channels trying to find a show that would suit my fancy. Well, my favorites lately has been the cooking shows like the Naked Chef, The Surreal Gourmet, Keith Floyd and Surfing the Menu (not good for my appetite). For game shows, I watch the long time running Wheel of Fortune and Double Jeopardy. I also frequent The Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. The other 10% would be reading a book or playing the guitar.

Anyway, this post is not really about what shows I watch but the commercials we see on the boob tube. Before I proceed, allow me to reminisce first. During the mid 80's, there was this commercial with Mr. Jim Paredes saying, "These look like oranges... (bounces the orange) but they don't!" Anybody reading this remember that one? Well, if we really analyse the sentence, we will see how ridiculous the statement was. They look like oranges but they don't look like they are. Clearly, what he should have said was "but they're not!"

Anyway, the reason I suddenly remembered that ad is because there is one commercial that piqued my interest today. I have seen it several times in the local channels and I am bothered by it. I am talking about this commercial about a fifty something mother who says: "You are not my baby no more!" I checked my kids and asked, "analyse that statement and tell me, is he still a baby of hers or no more?" My children's initial reaction wass that he is no longer her baby.

Maybe we often hear this phrase quite too often in movies that we believe that this is proper english. But it's not! Well, at least the last time I looked, a double negative means it is positive! So, if we analyse the sentence carefully, it really means he is still her baby. But we know this is not the case if we look at the context by how and under what circumstances the utterance has been made.

The media's role in shaping the young is unprecedented. Schools are facing a losing battle with the media. Considering the cost of production and the coverage of these commercials, the advertisers ought to be very careful with what they show on tv and other medium.

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Blogger joyce said...

sir, mananagalog ako at baka ako'y masabihang racist. ang mga kirara dito, ganyan magsalita, double negative. siguro, dahil balbal na salita, hindi gaano'ng makabuluhan, pero nagiging tama sa kanilang pandinig dahil yan ang karaniwang gamit nila. yung mga kirara lang naman ang ganyan.
sang ayon ako sa sinabi mo na di dapat yan ginagamit sa mga patalastas dahil ginagaya ng mga bata. ang tinuturo natin ay standard na ingles, at hindi balbal o salitang kalye. ang standard ay pangkalahatan at di lang para sa iilan. akala siguro nung gumawa ng commercial, porke't ingles at naririnig sa kirara, tama ang paggamit.
di ba pwedeng sulatan ang ad agency na gumawa niyan? nakaka bahala nga, sa totoo lang.

5:39 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

tama si joyce. Ang gumagamit ng ganiyang English dito ay ang mga walang pinag-aralan. Hindi kasama yan sa English slang.
Ain't do nothing, man.

Dapat talaga kunin ang attention ng mga admakers niyan.

Kahit ang paglagay ng f-- word ay ginagaya, hindi lang ng mga teenager kung hindi pati mga adult bloggers na akala mo ba ay yan ang paboritong expression ng mga tao dito na kapareho nila ang kalibre sa pinag-aralan.

Heck no. Kahit sa TV censored yan. At malaki ang fine.

5:30 PM  
Blogger cbs said...

sabi nung isang teacher, double negative is positive, just as double positive is positive. sagot nung estudyante, yeah right.

9:42 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

joyce actually, hindi lang kirara ata. Ang simula ata nyan ay from the slaves na nag-aaral pa lang mag-ingles o yung mga hindi pa gaanong nakapag-aral. Pero hindi ako sigurado. Pero tama ka, sa patuloy na paggamit, maaaring maging tama yan sa susunod na mga henerasyon.

cathcath Ewan ko kung napansin na ng mga admakers yung kanilang ginawa. Yung paggamit ng f--- ay talamak nang ginagamit dito. Nagagandahan na ata sila sa tunog. E sa mga pelikula lang e nagkalat na ang ganyang salita e.

cbs "yeah, right" positive plus positive, positive nga hehe.

4:26 AM  
Blogger ipanema said...

I've watched that commercial. It could be stated in simple sentence so as not to confuse people.

Though unconsciously people use it, there's a need to correct it.

lol @ yeah right(an example of a pleonasm - redundancy) They mean the same thing. Sometimes I use this. Guilty as charge. :)

8:24 AM  
Blogger cbs said...

because of the "pop-ness" of this new language to which ebonics is a part of, even the truth of mathematical equation had been compromised. and that's what i was trying to say regarding the yeah, right comment. "yeah, right" is a mock agreement, which really is a disagreement. and thus the resulting irony: yeah, right as 2 positives becomes a negative.

7:21 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

ipanema Now I get it. As cbs explained, he was referring to the "yeah right" in a sarcastic way, which carries with it a negative connotation. In that regard, it is not a redundancy.

cbs Okay, got it. The sarcastic kind. I've heard that used often, too. It's not even plain ebonic as I have heard caucasian and even Filipinos use it, too. The problem is that I am just reading so I did not equate it with that meaning. Had I heard it, I would have not been misled. You're right, in this case, positive and positive actually has a negative connotation.

9:07 PM  
Blogger bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, I hate that commercial! Kasi nga I thought it was imprudent to include that statement as a clincher. Actually, I was planning to do a post on commercials I like and commercials I don't like and this was one of those that I don't like.

I wish the ad men would think twice, thrice, so many times before putting out an ad kasi nga ginagaya-gaya ng mga bata. Remember the fried chicken ad where one of the boys spat on his sandwich so he'd not have to share it with his friend? Susmaria, na high blood akon dun!

4:41 PM  
Blogger ipanema said...

I found it in one ESL link in eLearning from a resource link, that's why I remember it. There was a list. I'll try to find the link.

I find it funny because I use it...hehehe. Naging expression na tuloy na kung tingnan mo ng mabuti, eh mali. :)

5:26 AM  
Blogger Poppycock said...

hi tito rolly,

kaya ako, hindi mahilig manuod ng tv, eh.

talamak talaga ang mga pagkakamaling ganyan. madalas nga nakikitaan ko, pati sa mga crawler ng bbc at cnn, maling grammar and usage of apostrophe, among other things. hindi mo malaman kung pabaya sila o nagkakamali lang talaga.

5:48 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

bugsy Maraming commercials na akala ng gumawa e cute not realizing it gives out a negative outcome. Magandang project yang iniisip mo but it needs a lot of research and memory.

ipanema which one? yeah, right or the double negatives?

poppycock palagay ko yung sa cnn at fox, mali lang. Maski naman sa dyaryo minsan me mga mali in spite of having undergone several editors. To err is human!

I believe this is your first time here, right? Welcome to my blog!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Svelte Rogue said...

ahhh, delicious irony, indeed. i like the whole ebonic "yeah right" and double negs, double pos's... and the double ironies cloaking them all.

but that kind of parlance is par for the course these days, and well... if we continue to use such linguistic combinations, then they enter into the corpus of modern english and can no longer be considered wrong.

but you are more than welcome to field the vociferous disagreements that might set off... the experts have certainly have had more than their say and that of others before them! :)

4:39 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

svelte Yup, the language continues to evolve. But right now, in my book, double negatives still amount to a positive. Hence, the post.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Svelte Rogue said...

the kind of double neg in this ad leaves me with more questions than answers, meaning, it puzzles me, the way the lexical items are strung out in the sentence. i employ double negs at times, but not of this kind. kasi masyadong hip hop ang dating at hindi ko nakagisnan... if i hear someone use it, yo, is that so ho? :)

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Mooi mevrouw said...

I cannot agree with cath's assertion that people who speak thus are people na walang pinag aralan. And I never will go along with such pronouncements. It is snobbish, arrogant, and really, ignorant.

As you've pointed out, language evolves and if a community of users constantly use this, are able to communicate with each other employing such sentence rules, and understand each other, then the language does evolve with the needs of that community. If more and more people emerged from this community and institutionalised their language by getting works in that language published, getting films in cinema displaying such use, get plays onto the stage with actors using such language, then it would enter into mainstream consciousness and not be considered the language of the uncouth.

If anything, anyone who is snobbish enough to look down on the language usage of others is throwing the stone at herself, in this case, the stone of walang pinag aralan.

10:20 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Svelte Actually, it did not start from the hiphop generation. MAtagal na 'tong phrase na ito. Pinulot na lang siguro ng mga hiphop.

But then, what do I know about hiphop? Masyado nang malayo sa generation ko. hehe

mooi mevrouw Easy. Maybe it came out too strong and negatively but I'm sure that was not what Cath had really intended to mean. Maybe what she meant was that was how it started. But of course, I am just guessing. I know her personally and I know she's a good person.

I'll let her answer you herself. If she sees your comment, I'm sure she will.


4:32 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

parang kilala ko yata ang nagcomment na yan. Bakit ako lang ang tinukoy ay dalawa kaming nagsabin ng parehong opinion.

Hindi lang niya mailagay sarili niyang monicker dahil bistado siya.

anyway I stand by my opinion.

hindi ko malaman kung yong double negative o yong f-word ang tinutukoy ng commenter mo pero either of the two is not accepted language among the educated people where I come from.

Dahil kung kakausapin mo talaga ang Puti na may pinag-aralan ang gamit nilang lenguahe ay kagaya ng ginagamit nating mga Pinoy na bihasa sa Ingles.

Ang sinasabi ko ay base sa aking observation dito na kahit ang comedian na si Cosby na may doctorate ay ayaw ang mga salitang yan na kiconconsider niyang ebonics.
Tanggap sa mga may kulay na sinasabi ng commenter na nagiging lengguahe dahil ginagamit ng marami pero hindi tama. Kaya nang isuggest na gawing parang national language ng mga may kulay ang ebonics, maraming mga may pinag-aralan ang nagprotest.

Kailan naman natanggap ang F-word sa
community? Totoo ang sinasabi ko na
dito sa States, kapag may narining na F o shit sa programa, ang fine ay 250,000 dollars kaya ang mga TV stations ay mayroong bleeper para macatch ang mga salitang yan.

Napansin ko lang sa ating mga marami sa ating mga may pinag-aralan na parang natural na sa kanila ang pagsabi ng FUCK na para bang yong ang kanilang salita para masabing in. Dahil ang mga walang pinag-aralan ang paboritong expression ay anak ng PUTa or putang ina.

Whatever it is, ipakita sa aking ng commenter if ever narinig niya itong sabihin sa mga commercials dito sa States o kaya sa mga conferences o seminar. Kahit sa stand up comedy na iniair ay cinecensor ito.

I know where the commenter is coming from. SHE is fond of saying FUCK.
I challenge her na sabihin niya ito infront of decent people, at gumamit siya ng mga ebonics na salita, baka taasan siya ng kilay dito lalo na kung may pinag-aralan siyang nasabi.

Hindi ito sa snobbishness pero yan ang mga basehan dito kung saan ka galing, kung salita mo ay ay galing sa ghetto o sa loob ng unibesidad.

6:03 PM  
Blogger ting-aling said...

hmm..ewan ko ba kung bakit masakit sa tenga na pakinggan ang F word at kahit na ang P__ I__. Dito sa amin, the community is irate about Lululemon's ad which goes "nice ass". Kung ang "ass" nga is being condemned, paano pa kaya ang F word?

Advertising agencies should be accountable for what they create to promote products. I hope they are not doing ads only for the purpose of raking money but also to promote social responsibility and education.

8:26 AM  
Blogger cathcath said...

Sometimes some pinoy bloggers use F-word to express feelings which are not addressed to anyone. Sometimes it is a expression of surprise or unbelievability.

Then they can use the word SHUT UP which does not really ask people to keep quiet but it really mean,
TALAGA ? or binobola mo ba ako?

Some bloggers use the word Packing Sh......instead of F-- and I say that these bloggers know how to go around in using the dreaded F-word.
Hindi masama.

Language evolves but obscene/foul/curse words are never incorporated in the accepted language of the majority.

Kahit sa Pinoy, kahit ang gay lingo ay popular, hindi pa rin ito ang ginagamit sa mga usapan at talakayan kung saan ang mga utak na hinuhubog ay maaring malito kung ano ang mali at alin ang tama.

Kung susundan ko ang theory ng commenter, dapat ang mga swardspeak ay nakapasok na sa ating Tagalog language or kaya ang mga salitang kalye na popular ay isinama na sa conversational Tagalog.

10:38 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cath There seems to be a miscommunication between you and mooi. S/He was referring, I think, to the double negatives, and obviously, your comment was based on the irresponsible use the f-word.

ting The problem is that in advertising, you do what you think is in or sometimes create something which you think would be in. Sana nga i consider yung social responsibility in the equation no?

3:25 AM  
Anonymous mooi mevrouw said...

Hindi pa nga ba bahagi ng conversational everyday language ang swardspeak? I believe it is the case already, and has been for many years in the counting.

I don't give a FUCK about the use of the word FUCK or putang ina because I wasn't referring to the usage of such expletives in my comment.

And Cath, you're right. I completely missed scoring Joyce for the same comment which you share. Oversight on my part but that does not change the content of my content, nor the perceived personal attack you have attributed to it.

So to rephrase: I cannot agree with both yours and Joyce's stance on how to perceive USERS of the language who, in your eyes, are uncouth and uneducated. You try and hang with African-Americans in their communities with your high-brow attitude and if you tell me that, yo, sis, you be one of them, then I just might relent a bit in this discussion. Otherwise, you have to reconsider the stand-offish attitude that says that the only right English are spoken by "native" speakers, and that everyone should have a copy of Strunk & White.

Lastly, (for now) I stand by my monicker because it speaks truly of me.

Thank you, Tito Rolly.

8:32 PM  
Blogger cathcath said...

I am referring to the double negatives which is considerered ebonics.

Pray tell what swardspeak is already incorporated in the language used by people who can influence children?

Conversational is different from the Standard English used.

I have to ask Titorolly if he ever use swardspeak in his class?

Not because it is popular in some segments of society, it is already popular to all.

Besides swardpeak is dynamic, what is vogue now may be obsolete tomorrow.

2:41 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cath and Mooie Thank you for the interesting discussion you've provided this post. However, inasmuch as both of you have said your piece, it's time that I put the discussion to a close. Peace be with you both!

6:24 AM  

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