Addressing a problem with a problem through linguistic shyness

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Addressing a problem with a problem through linguistic shyness
Dr. Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (Dr. GAB)

By Ganiu Bamgbose (Ph.D)

Nigerians tend to be so decent that we often shy away from calling certain things their names just so that we do not appear immoral or amoral.  A caption on a television programme today reads: MOTHER EXPRESSES SHOCK OVER DISCOVERY OF 11-YEAR-OLD SON’S ADDICTION TO ADULT FILM.

Books, magazines, films with no artistic value, but that describe or show sexual acts are called pornography.  The choice of adult film as used in the caption is A COMMON ATTEMPT AT AVOIDING CERTAIN NAMES BY NIGERIANS IN A BID TO AVOID IMMORALITY.

On the contrary, such avoidance of certain lexical items only promotes the immorality we hope to avoid. There is something magical about knowing the labels to things and phenomena. They help achieve a clear picture of such things and properly ruminate on them.

This is why people who incantate in Yoruba are sometimes heard saying “they’ve known the name death is called so death cannot kill…



Source: Vanguard Newspaper