Sunday, 10 May 2009

What the Full"k"?

Does anyone remember shortlived British pop band Hear'say?

They were the first ever winners of Pop Idol and one of them was Myleene Klass (someone with too many letters in her name like Jamie Foxx). She's now more famous for something else although I can't remember what it is - she's in Hello! mag a lot, though.

Anyway, I digress because the point is that, with that apostrophe half way through, how did one pronounce Hear'say? Was it "Hear-huh-say" with the "huh" sounding like an intake of breath? Well, if you thought there were pronunciation issues around Hear'say, what about -


- Full"k"ords?

Now maybe it's just me but, if an otiose apostrophe half way through a word should (I think we can all agree) be pronounced like an intake of breath, then I reckon incongruous quotation marks must be pronounced as close as is humanly possible to a tinkle of high notes on a piano keyboard. So Full"k"ords must sound something like "Full-plink-k-tinkle-ords". That's a phonetic transliteration of something that trips easily off the tongue of a Kalahari bushman - those chaps with dinner plates in their lower lips who whistle and click at each other - but when I attempt to pronounce Full"k"ord I have to be very careful about my gag reflex: only try it on an empty stomach.

The picture above is of a poster advertising last Friday's attractions at "Hotel Cafe" in Santa Cruz. This is what passes for the only night club on Flores - it's universally known as "Toste's" after the name of its owner. Before I get too snotty about it, I have to say I've never been in and I can't see me going any time soon either because I gather it doesn't get going much before 2am. Santa Cruz is a 25 minute drive over the other side of the island from us, taxis at that hour are like hen's teeth and my days of sleeping on park benches/strangers' floors are long past.

But Toste is obviously a shrewd kind of guy on account of where he posts his posters - right next to the cash dispensers. I don't know if they do this in Britain or other countries nowadays but Portuguese ATMs always make you aguarde um instante for a word from their sponsors which you can never see anyway due to the angle of the light shining on the screen. So, almost as a reflex, for 20 secs or so you look at anything else at all but that ad on the screen. Toste has cornered that particular span of attention on this island.

4 comments:

Baby Chou said...

You're up early!

Kathie said...

I'd hazard that "Full"k"ords" simply lacks a strategic hit of the ol' space-bar -- far be it from me to criticize the way Portuguese spell English, of course, because I still make more than my share of orthographic boo-boos in Portuguese! What may have been meant was "Full "k"ords," i.e., "Full chords." Just as many anglophones use short-hand notations in their emails, IMs, Twitter tweets, etc., I've noticed it's become very common for younger Portuguese to use "k" in lieu of "qu" (e.g., "ke" or sometimes even just "k"). So I'd guess this is an extension of that custom, by representing the sound of the "ch" in "chord" as "k."

I stayed at the Hotel Santa Cruz (Toste's) on my 2002 stay on Flores, which prompts me to wonder how "early-to-bed, early-to-rise" guests (like me) manage to get a decent night's sleep if party music is blaring into the "madrugada" (wee small hours). Speaking of Toste, when I arrived on Flores in June 2002, after I was transferred from the Flores airport to the hotel I attempted to tip the driver for shlepping my bags, but he modestly declined; turned out to be the hotel owner himself!

Also, when I was on Flores in June 2002, my tour guide Sílvio Medina pointed out a disco in Fazenda da Santa Cruz (just north of Santa Cruz) which he said was open on Friday and Saturday nights. Since Sílvio was only 26, I asked him if he ever went there, but he replied no. Why, I inquired? Because, he replied earnestly (and endearingly), he was too old!

Do you know whether that disco's still in business? I'd think that, owing to its small population, Flores lacks a critical mass of young customers to support such an enterprise. A nightclub at Toste's might do better, though, because both locals and hotel guests could be potential patrons.

Neil King & Carol Duncan said...

Baby Chou - bear in mind the two hour time difference and that what could be an early morning to you could be a late night to us. (Also the blogspot recorded time of posting seems to bear little relation to the actual time, IMO)

Kathie - the disco in Fazenda was called "On the Rocks" and as far as I know it's been closed for as long as we've been here (since 2006). Toste's hotel in Sta Cruz is called the Hotel Ocidental.

Kathie said...

(Slaps palm of hand to forehead). Of course you're right, it's the Hotel OCIDENTAL -- my bad!