Posted in Portuguese

Esperto, Manhoso, What?

This is a text from a couple of days ago, based on the video I mentioned at the time. Most of the mistakes I made were pretty pedestrian: typos and such. But what piqued my interest was the attempt to find the right word to describe a response that was “a sick burn” or “a clever come-back” or something like that. In other words, not clever in the sense that it was informative, wise and well-considered but it was something sharp to completely undermine the opponent’s argument and turn the tables.

Vi um vídeo no tuitere hoje enquanto estava a comer o meu pequeno almoço. Um jornalista foi acusado por um deputado de Chega de ter feito afirmações falsas. O jornalista respondeu “Não sou eu que vou ser julgado amanhã por difusão de fake news e informações falsas. É o doutor, não sou eu”.

Não estava a entender porque é que a pessoa que partilhou o clipe achou que foi uma resposta demolidora. Pensei que o jornalista queria dizer “o povo vai ver este vídeo e formar a sua opinião”. Mas estava a falar mais literalmente. O deputado realmente estava num processo por ter difamado um ex líder dum outro partido. Sabendo isso, o vídeo (e a resposta das redes sociais) fez mais sentido!

Demolidora! That’s the word I went for in the end. How do you describe a really good zinger, an answer that sends your opponent away with their tail between their legs. Inteligente? Well, it probably is intelligent, but that’s not enough. Manhoso (cunning) seems wrong. Likewise sagaz, certeira, astuto: all in the right area but they don’t seem to fit. I opted for “esperto” but that’s more like something you’d say about a clever animal. You can use it about a human, but you have to be careful to make sure the context and intonation are clear because it’s easy to sound like you’re being ironic and putting the person down. I think I’ve mentioned “Chico Esperto” before, but that’s really used to describe someone who is either a selfish, untrustworthy piss-taker or someone who thinks they’re clever but isn’t.

Anyway, after knocking it back and forth, I settled on Dani’s suggestion of Demolidora – ie a demolishing response, which puts an end to the other side’s argument. That works for me!


Just a data nerd

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