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Appalling Ignorant Inconsiderate Person

By: Charles Alexander Colmenares

Date Posted: 2000-11-10

This letter is in response to Mr. Jose Perez Morales comments regarding Cool, Cono! (Not Cool Cono) Latin House, on the November 2nd edition of the Japan Update.

I want to take this opportunity to point out to Mr. Perez Morales certain points regarding languages. When different countries share a common language, it is only natural that some ideosyncracies will arise in the way that language is spoken. Therefore, some words, which mean something in one country, perhaps will have a totally different meaning in another. For example, for Americans a “fag” is a very condescending word that is used to describe a homosexual person, whereas in England is a very common word to describe a cigarette. Spanish, of course, it’s not immune to this phenomena, so if I speak of ‘pedir la cola” in Venezuela, it will mean a to ask somebody for a ride, whereas in another Latin country you might get in trouble because you will be asking somebody for their rear end. Other examples include the word “coger”, which commonly means to catch or to pick something up, but also means to fornicate in other countries; “pito”, which is what a policeman or a referee uses to control or officiate a game, means penis in other countries. Finally another very common word, “bicho”, a strange or curious looking object; but Mr. Perez Morales, what does it mean in Puerto Rico?

The point is that Mr. Perez Morales failed miserably to acknowledge this point. In the Caribbean area, in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and even Puerto Rico, the word cono is very commonly use to express surprise or astonishment, as an exclamation point, or as an augmentative suffix such as “Wow” in English. In the case of my establishment that’s exactly what it means, “Wow, this is cool” not “Cool women’s genitalia” as Mr. Perez Morales had suggested.

Finally, I would like to apologize to all the people that might have been offended by my chosen name, and would like to reiterate that was not in any way whatsoever related to what Mr. Perez Morales try to convey in his letter. I would also like to cordially invite Mr. Perez Morales to my establishment so that he can see for himself what kind of a place I’m running. If it is not full of the warmth and solidarity that only we Latin people can convey to others, and which you failed to express, then feel free to write any derogatory comments about it; at least you’ll have a solid base for them. In the meantime, please do your homework Mr. Perez Morales before you decide to write “Appalling, ignorant, and inconsiderate “ letters. With all due respect Sir, you’re the one who doesn’t have a clue.

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