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General News    H4'ed 12/23/18

#ItsTime to fix the #Bagarap

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One language is not enough.

(Image by Dr Peter James Chisholm)   Details   DMCA
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One language is not enough. Does Tok Pisin have part of the answer to Social Media Addiction? I think they do, its in their main language. It is not a "bugger up" - it's beautiful!

Papua New Guinea, as I've been explaining, almost has as many languages as the rest of the world put together. They still manage to communicate very well, most often using Tok Pisin, which is considered by many to be a language rather than a creole.

I asked Wikipedia the other day, what is happening to the "house belonging to talk", how do we revive Tok Pisin Wikipedia? I can't quite work it out.

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This is because I firmly believe in the language philosophy inherent in everyday Tok Pisin - its in the first page of quite a few phrasebooks. You can see this in all of my work and my attempts to translate.

Tok Pisin is the national language of Papua New Guinea, and 4-6 million people speak it.

To explain why I think this is particularly pertinent, is because I think Tok Pisin has the perfect word for describing this condition. It is "bagarap". Coming from the Australian term "bugger up" when we "buggered up" their country for many years, this word has become part of their vernacular, and it is used very commonly, including on cigarette packets - it's an amazing metaphorical language.

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Cigarette packets in 2010 essentially said "cigarettes bugger up the lungs that belong to you". I contend that yes, indeed they do.

On the other hand, social media addiction is not like other stimulant addictions - it's far too widespread, and we don't know exactly what it is yet.

It is not "dependence" - we do not depend on social networks to survive. It is not really "complications" or "poisoning" - no one poisoned anyone here, and it is far more complicated than a simple "complication".

I suggest respectfully that it might be called the "Social media bagarap."

Bagarap means:

- "break down"

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- "worn out"

- "spoil" OR

- "accident"

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Peter is a medical registrar in Melbourne, Australia, with experience and interests in Infectious Diseases and Addiction Medicine. He is currently completing a Masters of Science (Infectious Diseases) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical (more...)

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