Earlier this week, the hashtag #wordsabusedbycomrades had Twitter abuzz. But what was it all about, exactly? AAISHA DADI PATEL takes us through Speaking Comrade 101.
What exactly is a “Comrade”? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the definitions of the word comrade is: “(In South Africa) a young militant supporter of the African National Congress (ANC).”
Speaking Comrade is a whole new linguistic playing field, which tweeps found out when the hashtag #wordsabusedbycomrades went viral earlier this week.
So who qualifies as a Comrade? Comrades are people involved with the ANC in any way; that is, not only the party, but all the organisations aligned with it as well.
And, as former ANC members form the basis of the Economic Freedom Fighters, they use the term “Comrade” too – even though they primarily use the title “Fighter”.
— Sabee7a (@Flo_wer_Child) June 1, 2014
Some examples of Comrades: our good president Jacob Zuma and minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande. An example of someone who most definitely isn’t a Comrade: leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane.
And how can you speak Comrade most effectively? Top tip: it’s not only about what you say, but how you say it. As these tweeps show, just throw some of these phrases into conversation and you’re good to go.
"Point of procedure", "Point of order", "Point of exigency", "Through you Chair","protect me, chair?"-"protectected" #WordsAbusedByComrades
— Ebrahim Fakir (@EbrahimFakir) June 8, 2015
#WordsAbusedByComrades "We must engage".
— Siyabulela Daweti (@sdaweti) June 9, 2015
— Paid Roza (@ROZA_Nangok) June 8, 2015
This is polotics mchana #WordsAbusedByComrades
— Commissar WarRoom (@fanamokoena) June 8, 2015
Marxist-Leninist tools of analysis.#WordsAbusedByComrades
— Siphile Hlwatika (@SiphileHlwatika) June 8, 2015
Let us move on the issue of… #WordsAbusedByComrades
— Shaeera Kalla (@shaeera_k) June 8, 2015
— El Cheapo (@SkhumbuzoTuswa) June 8, 2015
And when you’ve made your point, and have nothing else to say?
— KwaraKekana (@KwaraKekana) June 8, 2015
See some Comrade speak in action in parliament in this short clip:
But not everyone is a fan of Comrade lingo. When you use it, how much of substance are you actually saying?
#WordsAbusedByComrades hashtag shows just how much bollocks there is in political discourse. And people still say Amandla to empty words
— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) June 8, 2015