Los pijos y los pedantes

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Los pijos y los pedantes

The word pijo first of all means de marca and applies to expensive brands: Armani jacket, Rollex watch… But also to anyone who is ready to pay tons of money for a brand, he’d be a pijo as well. This word describes certain social element: rich well-dressed money spenders and all the wannabies.
Los pijos can be also recognized by their accent. Trying to avoid a hoarse sounding of the residents of blue-collar areas (barriobajeros), they dwell on words, speak through their nose, pronounce English words in a pretensous English manner, so to say, create a fake aristocratic impression. Sometimes they drawl vowels or consonants or emphasise each syllable of a word:

 Juan es SSSSsuperguapo
 Es immm-presss-sio-nan-te

Los pijos avoid cussing and replace swearing words with milder expressions:

Jopé / Jolín = Joder
 Mecachis = Me cago en Dios

Imagine a fresh graduate of a private college in a custom made suit who is going to work in a law firm, talking to a designer friend (both got their jobs through their parents)… You got the idea, right?

The word pedante is worth a separate article. The thing is that in the last 30 years in Spain it’s not common to use… educated speech! Over democratized society led not only to an excessive use of vulgar words, but also to a significant decrease of the active vocabulary. That’s why a lot of words, though being recognized by native speakers, started to being perceived as too bookish, mannered or lofty. But very often you can’t get by without them! Take a good look at the words in bold:

 Hay que expresarlo de forma concisa (=breve pero exacto)
 He dejado el despacho diáfano (=sin cosas por medio, despejado)
 Craso error (=error garrafal, un error importantísimo por sus consecuencias)

You should know that using these words will add to your language plasticity and imagery, however you are likely to pass for pedante!

Another distinctive feature of the pedants (or rather "grammar nazis") is that they pronounce foreign words according to the norms of that language. E.g. English writer Shakespeare would be pronounced as [Shah-kes-peh-ah-reh]. Due to the fact that Spaniards don’t need to adapt other latin-based languages, reading a foreign word correctly can be tough. Let’s see,

Renault is pronounced as [Reh-noh-lt]
 Descartes is pronounced as [Des-cah-rtes]

Spaniards don’t usually speak foreign languages well, that’s why they don’t even try to pronounce foreign words with their respective accent. While the pedantes actually do so.

Autor/a Георгий Нуждин