: views from the Hill

Friday, February 22, 2008

For want of an accent mark ...

A headzup to everyone writing in the blogosphere, in newspapers and in magazines: what César and Dolores and the UFW were all about was "¡Sí, se puede!" not "Si se puede."

Sure, the two phrases sound the same, but the first means, "Yes, we can!" (or more accurately, 'Yes, it's possible' or 'Yes, it can be done.') and the second, "If we can ..."

Big difference.

(I kept, and never used, a freebie notepad the UFW sent me -- along with a solicitation for a donation, natch -- because they used "Si" instead of "Sí" in the tagline on the notepad. And don't try to tell me that the accent mark has become superfluous in the twenty-first century. I ain't buying it. ...)

Thus ends the Spanish I lesson for the afternoon.

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