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Words can be such pricks: the wild, piercing randomness of meaning

Willem Boshoff spins webs of reference using his signature materials, letters

10 May 2021 - 20:09 By Hans Pienaar

Some time ago a funny T-shirt did the rounds: “Praat Afrikaans of Hou Jou Bek.” On face value here was an expression of rabid right-wing extremism, but the joke is really on the wearer. The person standing silently in front of him or her, are they obeying the instruction, or do they just not understand Afrikaans? And if someone starts speaking to them politely in English, are they bamboozling or mollycoddling them? ..

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