Monday, July 17, 2017

First Words

In my "other world", people still make generous use of titles. In Xhosa, Nyana, Tata, Nkosikazi, and so on. In Afrikaans, Tannie, Swaer, Meneer, and so on. One sees examples on my Facebook page today. It is quite formal, although it isn't the "distant" kind of formal one has in English (but see below). Anyway, only a few "city slickers" will call me Thomas in my "other world". But yesterday, my new nephew spoke his first words to me: "Hello Thomas." This was cause for much laughter. One doesn't do that. His mother encouraged him to call me Oom Thomas, but he said something garbled instead. OBSERVATION: In Xhosa anyway, there are levels of formality, when it comes to titles. Some are a warm formality, some a distant formality.

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