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Something definitely worth sharing on – what do I call it now but still “O le ku!”: A reader’s challenge on “street language & slang” in Yoruba

From my tolaadenle@emotanafricana.com Mail Box:

We can’t stop street language and slang creeping into history and communication. We however must in the name of intellectual rigour and cultural dignity separate them from the management and development of a people’s history. I would plead for a reassessment of the term (O le ku )as category or vehicle for preserving or conveying the Yoruba contribution to textile technology.tao

Dear Tao,

Thanks for this very noteworthy comment.

I think you, myself and, perhaps most of our generation – not unexpected – think alike! When I first heard the term as can be implied from the notes I wrote on the style, it was not attractive to me, to put it elegantly.

Sorry, Tao, you lose me on this one because I feel we must make accommodation on this one!

Believe me, that category took me several takes to rework as I tried to find a place for the term “O le ku!” in the Category Title without it dominating, fat chance! Then I tried to eliminate it, did so, posted it past midnight U.S. time and very early going for Nigeria and the UK – my most active markets, so to say. I then went to google and posted the words of the new category; the essay did not show up.

Then, I went for “Oleku” aso oke, and, seemingly amidst a sea of “oleku”, there it was in Number 5 on Page 1,

Yoruba modern aṣọ oke O le ku (“Oleku)
emotanafricana.com/category/…/yoruba-modern-aso-oke-o-le-ku-oleku/‎
About Blogger, Emotan · Africa · Arts & Culture · Aṣọ oke for every age in every age

where the google listing managed to include other blog items.

In Number 6 was –

Nigerian wedding oleku aso-ebi styles |
http://www.nigerianwedding.org/…aso…/nigerian-wedding-oleku-aṣọ-ẹbi-style…‎
Engagement · Yoruba Brides · Aṣọ Oke & Jewelry · Aṣọ-Oke Colors … Nigerian wedding oleku aṣọ-ẹbi styles. 0. Posted January 28, 2013

which belongs to another site.

Tao, you, me – and millions from the Age of the Dinosaur [of Information, that is] cannot remain purists in this matter – it’s tough for me, too, but this blog keeps pulling me, telling me it’s about what kids do not find difficult to accept called “search engines”; tag your copies generously and tantalizingly enough and they will attract readers.

And of what use is writing that is not read by others?

As a one-time journalist, it’s probably easier for me to swallow than perhaps others of the old school because you learn before starting the career – as those who study journalism must do in college, or discover as those like me who learnt on the job – that a good title gets readers. I believe that’s the premise that drives a material high on google or any search engine.

And hei, you are familiar with the English ways: the language, culture, etcetera, and you know that despite the purists’ traditionally stuck-in-the-mud attitude, the English Language has had to bow to many modernity that would make their ancestors turn in their gilded graves. “Rap” is no longer ‘a criminal record’, or any of the many staid definitions of the word in Oxford English Dictionary. How about –

…a type of rap music featuring aggressive macho lyrics, often with reference to gang violence…

I’ll share yours and this with readers.

Thanks for always looking deeper than the surface into these essays.

You have my best regards,
TOLA.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013. 2:36:28 [GMT]

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