I done talk!


A few things caught my attention when I first saw this sign at a doubles stand and it was actually what inspired me to have this section as part of my blog. I won’t say that I’m a linguist so i apologise in advance for my terminology or lack thereof but having done a minor in Linguistics counts for something. In the first place, the syntax (word order) of the first phrase is quite interesting. The verb ‘are’ comes all the way at the end as very often Trinidadian English Creole (TEC) does not care much for the SVO (subject, verb, object) word order of English. Then, of course no question mark is needed as we all know that the difference in ‘she coming later’ (statement) and ‘she coming later’ (question) in TEC can be done through intonation. Why complicate life?

Anyway, back to the sign. Another classic element of our speech is the evident repetition or redundancy as some may say.  ‘Drinking’ would have been fine or even ‘taking drinks’ but ‘drinking the drinks’ surely drives the point home because let’s admit ‘Is fall she fall in the big drain?’ is not the same as asking ‘Did she fall into the drain?’. No no no emphasis and repetition are key in this case! You can almost hear the words as if they were being shouted out in response to the question ‘What would you like printed on the sign sir?’ I’m laughing just imagining how that went down….unless it was done by the vendor himself of course.

Lastly….oh the IRONY. You forced us into some harsh introspection (what kind of person am I? what is the meaning of life? why am I here?) well maybe not so far but you get my point. Then, after scolding our bad actions you proceed to threaten and shame us in a way that effectively makes us feel like we’re on the receiving end of the phone in ‘Taken’ *cue clip*


What really is ironic though is that maybe we aren’t the ones meant to be ashamed. What I’m trying to say is don’t let ME embarrass you with that wrong spelling of the word ’embarrass’. Who am I kidding? I understand, it happens to the best of us and even more so when we are wrongfully robbed of the money owed to us. Sometimes I still double check when I write the word receive (yes i just checked haha) or constantly remind myself that to spell the name of that little voice inside my head it’s as easy as writing a school subject with a carefully placed prefix…..yup you guessed it con-SCIENCE.

I love doubles. I love my country. I love Trinidadian English Creole and accept it as a legitimate language. It’s one of the things that makes us so unique. Just to end….oh gosh next time yuh stop to eat yuh lil doubles with slight and drink yuh drink (red solo preferably?) pay the doubles vendor what is due to him plzzzz 🙂


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AstridOxford
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 14:44:47

    That’s a really clever way to remember how to spell conscience … I tend to struggle with that one too! Great post!


  2. LuLu
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 16:45:48

    Haha love it


  3. Adaeze
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 09:03:34

    This is such an accurate analysis yes! Excellent work


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