22. Vocabulary

Escrito em 29/08/2022
Felipe Macchiaverni



One of the ideals of the modernists of the 1922 Modern Art Week was to bridge the gap between written  and  spoken  language.  In  a country  with  until  then  about  65%  of  illiterate  population, approaching  popular  speech,  capturing  everyday  communication  and  perceiving  its  colloquial expressions were ways found by artists and literati to transform the elitist character of literature and the  arts  in  general. But  where  to  find these  sources of  orality?  In  which spaces could the “language of the people” be observed?Authors of modernism, such as Antônio de Alcântara Machado, found in the soccer stadiums of the city of São Paulo in the 1920s one of the propitious places for this. The São Paulo metropolis grew rapidly in that decade, and such growth can be seen in the noisy crowds that mingled in the sports venues, whether in the Parque Antártica, by Palestra Itália –now Palmeiras –, or in Jardim América, by Paulistano. The raw material of this polyphonic atmosphere was manifested especially in the interjections of thecrowd, with their screams towards the field, with the buzz of the cheaper places in the stands, popularly called “gerais” in Brazilian Portuguese and even with the collective exclamations coming from the stands: “ahhhh”, “ohhhh”, “uhhhh”.With  mastery,  Alcântara  Machado  recorded  in  a  short  story  this  sound  and  communicative environment of everything that a soccer match raises as a narrative and linguistic phenomenon. The  language  of  soccer,  imported  from  England  with its original  vocabulary  in  English and the consequent  anglicisms,  has  gone  through  a  progressive  process  of  Brazilianization  since  the popularization of this sport. This happened either through the translation of terms originating in the English language, or through the contribution of a myriadof oral terms, incorporated in the voice of fans in the stadiums, in the chats in bars, in the texts of the sports chronicle, in the work of soccer radio broadcasters.