Issue of August 12, 2018
     
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Ahgwenggweng

OUR TITLE INITIALLY may mean – or imply, any of the following: 1) “not using his/her head”; 2) “easily (or, usually) pervaded upon”; even simply – or generally, 3) “foolish”…  all descriptives. Even

IF YOU CONVERT the same sequence to nouns – (like by adding the concept of ‘~one’, in English); as in, for example: 1) ‘the unclever one’; 2) ‘the submissive one’; and 3) ‘the foolish one’,

THE TERM DOES not change in Nabaloi: it still is ahgwenggweng! But

YES! AS AN Adjective, it must undergo the ‘traditional’ Degrees of Comparison, to wit:

AHGWENGGWENG, AHGWENGGWENGGWENG, AND Kawenggowengan, i.e. ‘foolish’, ‘more foolish’, and ‘most foolish’. If

OTHER IBALOIS WILL claim the ‘Comparative’ degree to be instead: “mas ahgwenggweng”, our ready answer is that the prefixing mas is rather an influence of Spanish – through Iluko (?). NOW,

UNLIKE IN ENGLISH where the ‘applications’ may appear ‘Negative’, we observe: it is ‘not-so much’ in Nabaloi. A few instances can demonstrate this:

A JOB APPLICANT didn’t ‘pass’ the Interview simply because he ‘mis-answered’ the Question: “Why do want the job?” and his answer was “I really need money”.. etc.

IF THE ONE commenting says “Ahgwenggweng!”, he means: ‘you were fooled’; or ‘the question was catchy’; [even] ‘the [interviewing] fool’; etc., but

NOT MEANING, NOT intending to say to the untaken applicant: “you’re low-IQued”; or “how in blazes you fell prey again to their games!”; or, maybe: “they stupefied your plainness and honesty – and I really am sorry they caught you off-guard”; etcetera. But

THE MOMENT THE terms applied are the ones in the comparative and superlative degrees, viz. ahgwenggwenggweng! And Kawenggwengan!, the speaker is scolding – perhaps angry with the discourse recipient –

[IS HE/SHE A relative, a friend, a sibling, an offspring? The speaker – in fact is as if saying]:

“WHY, IF NOT for your unguardedness, or mis-responses, or too much’ self-honesty, you could have passed(!) that Interview so easily!”

ON THE OTHER side of the coin, the speaker – or the one saying the expression may not himself be exempted from the Gwenggweng label; perhaps

AT ONE TIME or another, he was described by others as Ahgwenggweng.. or, did he himself – say to him-self – the expression.. because he later realized he was ‘at-error’ earlier? So, the next time, one says to you Ahgwenggweng – whether ‘fondly’ or otherwise,

JUST TAKE IT with a grin and think even–or instead, the ‘positive’ Implicata: waste no sweat by taking it so hard! You agree, don’t you?

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