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Din “delicateţurile” românei – 2 April 4, 2007

Posted by oblia in Peregrinatio 1.
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Şi. Nu ca şi (of!) conjuncţie, ci ca adverb. Lumea buna i-ar zice semiadverb.

O pară mie, una ţie. O pară ţie, una şi mie. O pară şi ţie, şi mie. Acest şi. Intensificator, are rol emfatic. De-l foloseşti, te cam sumeţeşti: “Şi eu merit o pară!”

Întoarceţi, însă, broscuţa ţestoasă pe dos şi, în loc de mândra carapace dură, veţi da de burtica moale, vulnerabilă. De ce numai ei şi lui şi lor şi vouă şi ţie o pară? Mie de ce nu? Ce, eu nu merit? Nu merit şi eu o biată pară??

Şi-ul emfatic, iată, provine din sentimentul excluderii ori chiar al victimizării. De-aici, doar un pas pragmatic, şi hai c-am şi ajuns la actele de vorbire cu şi: anume, doamnelor, dar şi domnilor, abilul, versatul “Dă-mi şi mie…”

“Dă-mi şi mie…” rostit în contextul în care nu se dăduse înainte niciunui lui, niciunei ei, niciunor lor acelaşi lucru (sau altceva). “Dă-mi şi mie” care aproape că l-a înlocuit pe “dă-mi, te rog…”

Nicidecum emfatic, “şi” din “dă-mi şi mie…” edulcorează imperativul, evitând, pe de altă parte, printr-o fentă de băiat bun, dar cu cusururile sale, umilitorul “te rog” sau, vai, pe şi mai prosternantul “te rog eu”.

Nici curtenitor, căci nu marchează formal politeţea prin clasicul indicativ al rugăminţii, dar nici impunător, de vreme ce, iată, menţionez “şi mie”, bietul, printre atâţia şi-atâţia alţi solicitanţi (inexistenţi, precum am zis), “dă-mi şi mie…” se strecoară. Se insinuează cu dibăcie de dickensian Uriah Heep în stima-de-sine a celui solicitat. Şi-aşa stând procedura, acela execută: ne face hatârul, fără să se supere. Iar noi, haţ, l-am păcălit!

“Dă-mi şi mie…”, “daţi-mi şi mie…” – musai de folosit cu portarii, poliţiştii, controlorii, vânzătoarele, funcţionarele, secretarele, colegii cu bot şi, mai ales, şefii susceptibili. Acest Dinu Păturică al actelor de vorbire din româna contemporană le merge drept la inimioară.

Sugestii de preparare:

“Am şi eu o problemă: mi-ar trebui foaia matricolă pentru o bursă în străinătate. Mă ajutaţi şi pe mine?”

“Am şi eu o-ntrebare: îmi daţi şi mie o chitanţă pentru amenda asta?”

“Îmi daţi şi mie două zile libere, şefu’? Că-mi zugrăvesc şi eu casa…”

“Mă duc şi eu să-mi iau ceva de mâncare. Lipsesc vreo două ore.”

“Daţi-mi şi mie 435 de grame de parizer feliat subţire, că am şi eu o pisicuţă…”

(Îmi zice şi mie cineva de ce m-aştept să mă tragă de urechi acuş-acuş doamnele profesoare de la LRC?…)

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Comments»

1. moniK - April 5, 2007

victimizare, exact! ca au mai primit/facut ceva si altii si exista riscul unei mari nedreptati…
dati-mi si mie dreptate!

2. Gratiela - April 5, 2007

Capul plecat sabia nu-l taie!

3. Simona - April 5, 2007

E o teorie de linvgistica (sau pragmatica) care explica atitudinea asta. O s-o caut in weekend si o s-o postez. Uneori atitudinea asta se justifica, dar problema e ca in Romania this is a disturbingly frequent attitude.

4. mona - April 5, 2007

..aaa..meseria bratara de aur ieste ! ee?
ilinca si eu e fanii tei sa stii! tu scri tot mai binie! pupici multipli

5. oblia - April 5, 2007

pt. monik: iti dau, da’ zi-mi si mie treaba-i asta? 🙂

6. oblia - April 5, 2007

pt. gratiela: da, dar ce cap versat(il)…

7. oblia - April 5, 2007

pt. simona: ar fi misto sa gasesti materialul respectiv! cum adica “in romania”? mai exista fenomenul si prin alte parti? nu pot sa mi-l inchipui in engleza…

8. oblia - April 5, 2007

pt. mona: eee… da zi-o si pe-aia cu aquila! :))) si sa stii ca si eu as fi fanii tei, daca ai scrie mai des, of (si mai in romana? capisco, totusi, cu sf. francisc, cit de cit…)!…

9. Simona - April 6, 2007

Fenomenul exista peste tot intr-o masura normala. Eu cunosc Romania si America. Nu ma pronunt apropos de alte tari, dar banuiesc ca nu peste tot e asa de exagerat ca in Romania. E normal sa incerci sa fii politicos, dragut si sa nu-l deranjezi pe celalalt, sa nu “impose” cum zic englezul si americanul. Dar sa trebuiasca sa faci asta tot timpul cu oamenii al caror job e sa te serveasca, din teama ca poate ii deranjezi ca trebuie sa-si faca treaba si asta cind eventual mai fac si profit de pe urma ta… then it’s not normal. Nici eu nu am chef sa raspund la intrebari stupide la telefon but it’s part of the job.

10. Simona - April 7, 2007

So here’s the discourse analysis theory that explains this. Please bear with me, as it’s longer than the post it responds to. I just thought it was interesting. I’ll write it in English since that’s the language in which the theory was written.

Erving Goffman analyzed the concept of “face,” which we can also call “image”. Our face depends on our interaction with others. They may or may not agree with the face we want to assume. In English they say you “lose face” when there is a disagreement between what you want to project and what others confirm you project. For instance, if you claim you are a generous person but then don’t offer to help, you lose face.

Everyone does something called “face-work”: we take actions to make sure that what we’re doing is consistent with our face. In other words, people “save face” (another English expression); both their own and that of others. It’s a social ritual; it’s symbolical. We don’t do or say nice things because we believe them, but because they are a necessary social lubricant, if you will. Other more common names are “tact,” “diplomacy,” “social skills” 🙂 .

Two other linguists, Penelope Brown and Stephen C. Levinson, took this theory a step further and said that people have a negative face and a positive face. The negative face is a basic claim to territories, freedom of action, and freedom from imposition. The positive face is defined by our desire that the people we interact with appreciate, understand, admire, and approve us. Face is something that has to be constantly maintained during our social interactions because it can be threatened. In fact, it is threatened all the time.

And now it gets really interesting. You can threaten not only someone’s positive face, but also their negative face. Your own face or someone else’s. For instance, we can threaten someone’s negative face if we remind them that they have to do something. Having to do something limits their freedom and the role of their negative face is to guard that. Or we don’t care about someone’s feelings and we criticize or ridicule them, thus threatening his positive face.

Well, when you have to say “si mie” all the time, acting as humbly as possible, you are threatening your own positive face. The reason for that is fear of retalliation. So, at the same time, you also threaten that person’s negative face. If you ask them something, that’s going to limit their freedom, so you have to treat them gingerly 🙂 . God forbid that you limit a public servant’s freedom in Romania 🙂 . You don’t want to do that. They have worked hard for the past 50 years to define their own territory and freedom from having to do something. If anyone contradicts them, there will be consequences 🙂 .

That’s how we get to the concept of “negative politeness,” which is politeness adressed to someone’s negative face. We act that way not because we want to assure someone we like him (that’s positive politeness), but because we want to avoid bigger threats to our own face. We prefer to threat our own face and humiliate ourselves in order to avoid a greater perceived threat. Imagine having to deal with the fit of a Romanian public servant if you tell them it’s their job to do something for you and that they’re paid from your taxes 🙂 . Or that it’s a shop assistant’s job to show you a product because his salary depends on your money.

Well, the frequency with which these acts take place in every-day circumstances in Romania is alarming for me. One side of society has to constantly lubricate the other, so to speak, but there is no reciprocity. Once you’ve threatened your own face, the other person doesn’t do something to save it, necessarily, which would be the normal reaction. And everybody takes turns in doing this because this has become the social norm, the way of life.

[Sources:
Erving Goffman, “Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior,” Garolen City, N.U.,: Anchor/Doubleday, 1967.

Penelope Brown and Stephen C. Levinson, Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.]

11. Gratiela - April 7, 2007

let me conclude…:) in the case of romania, this whole neat theory is reduced to something like a coat hanger with only one arm… so much for sustainability and balance in the romanian society as a whole… 🙂 one nicely and kindly eats humble pie only to get a slap in the face in most cases… and all that lubrication the theory is talking about.. that is really MONEY.. there is no other lubricant… YOU do realize that 🙂

maybe a theory more adequate for Ro should be a … DOUBLE JEOPARDY 🙂

si sa speram ca functionarii publici din ro nu o sa afle prea curind ce tari sinf functionarii publici din Spania!!! Acolo da nene job de functionar. Intii si intii ca e un job pe viata. Literally. Daca vrei poti sa te duci sa lucrezi pt o firma privata cind si cit timp vrei, dar poti reveni ORICIND la statutul de functionar public, no questions asked. In plus, nu te poate obliga nimeni sa lucrezi dupa ora 3PM, salariul e foarte bun si viata e frumoasa!!! 🙂

12. Simona - April 7, 2007

Well, you’d think it’s about money, or you’d think that money should make a difference, but it doesn’t. LOL. But money shouldn’t be the only thing that determines how nice we are. And then there are all those other every day interactions that have nothing to do with money but which somehow require that you act in the same humble way. Remember the offending comment about Romanians of that woman in line at Administratia Financiara, from an earlier post. Face threats everywhere 🙂

13. Gratiela - April 7, 2007

I don’t think it’s about money and I don’t think money should make a difference but it does. Especially when it comes to some “authority”. Fact. Or we wouldn’t even be talking about this whole issue. Do ut des. Exista cazuri e adevarat cind chiar daca eat humble pie si lubrifiezi ce se poate tot degeaba. (Face or no face… dar [si] cu banii luati – pe romaneste).

14. oblia - April 13, 2007

foarte bine se imbuca “da-mi si mie” cu negative politeness! that’s it!multzam de addition! totusi, hai, macar ca exercitiu: care ar fi echivalentul pragmatic al lui “da-mi si mie…” in engleza? in ce cuvinte? m-am tot gindit, dar nu stiu.

15. m - April 14, 2007

acest ‘si’ este specific bucuresteanului sau, probabil, in general celor din sud. in orice caz, doar acolo l-am intalnit si m-a frapat, la prima mea vizita in bucuresti, in copilarie. acest ‘si’ cersind compasiune, spunand ‘va rog, sunt SI eu pe-aici, indurati-va SI de mine, dati-mi SI mie 100 de grame de parizer’ e parca mai simpatic, totusi, decat ‘pă’, ‘nene’ sau ‘după’ inlocuindu-l pe ‘de pe’


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