A pungent captain

An arrogant lieutenant joins the cavalry of a pungent captain at an outpost in the middle of the desert surrounded by Comanche and Apache Indians.

Summary of the film A Thunder of Drums from MGM (1961)

as broadcast by the GRIT television network (May 2018)

Help! What is a pungent captain?

Besides this, to be pedantic, is a question: Is the outpost surrounded by Indians, or is the desert surrounded by Indians?

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The Raccoon Look

Have you noticed tan lines around the eyes of some men who appear without makeup on television? Our President is one. He must be wearing sunglasses when he’s in sunny climates (or on a tanning bed?)

The white circles especially distract me now that broadcasts are digitally clear, and some now are even high definition.

So men who appear in the public eye (no pun intended):

Don’t wear aviator sun glasses unless you’re an aviator. I have clip-on sun shades. Does this work for you?

Or, don’t go out in the sun. Remember —

“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

Apologies to post-colonial Brits.

OK

‘Okay’ has become an international word, but no one seems to know where it comes from. The word seems to have had its origin in an English language speech community. From there, everyone who now speaks English says this word a lot.

Not so long ago, it occurred to me that ‘okay’ has a suspicious similarity to the syllable òc which has been associated with the English word ‘yes’.

Òc is associated with the language group of southern France, into Spain and into Italy — Occitan. The region where Occitan has been spoken is Occitania. The Romance language of the south of France was a rival of the speech in the north of France.

The Romance language group that has become France’s national language is called Langues d’oïl (lahng do ee[l]). Oïl is an older way to say ‘yes’ (oui) in the northern part of France. The southern speech of Occitania has been called Languedoc, the language of òc.

From here it’s a jump and a skip to see sailors and merchants in the Mediterranean region exclaiming “oc” when things were okay. The next jump and skip takes the the word ‘oc’ into the English speaking world.

From ‘oc’ to ‘okay’ is no leap, and I don’t see a leap from ‘okay’ to the abbreviation ‘OK’.

Who says okay and who doesn’t

In my casual contact with other speech communities (through television and films), I can share with you that ‘okay’ is now part of the regular speech in several languages. My limited list is: Swedish and German.

On the other hand, I’ve never heard ‘okay’ in French speech, Spanish (both in Europe and the Americas), and Hebrew. Instead one hears d’accord or bon, bueno, and b’seder, respectively.

Once Yiddish came into the English speaking world, Jews have peppered their speech with ‘okay’. Still, it’s preferable to say fein (fine), especially among Yiddish speakers who may not speak English. In Israel, for example, Yiddish speakers rarely speak English.

Well …

that’s OK for now.