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The number two has become quite an aberration in local popular culture. Indeed, a very weird phenomenon and one which is both amusing as it is perplexing.  For the life of me I cannot understand how this simplistic second child of the Greek numeral has come to be so scorned and vilified.

What is most amusing are the countless euphemisms that have succeeded the number two in popular discourse. It is commonplace to hear such phrases as ‘twice’, ‘second’, ‘one plus one’ or ‘that number between one and three’. Quite ludicrous!  

Fast food establishments’ bear the onslaught of this comeuppance, where not only are they contending with the fad and hype associated with local pop culture, they also have to consider potential language barriers that could impede their sales. They must tap into the psyche of this growing trend as when a young male in particular, approaches the cashier and orders a 'number twice' or a 'number second' from the menu display board, he or she must know to what he is referring.

The number two became taboo with the upsurge in the gaming culture. Numbers are assigned specific  meanings or rakes,  and the number two unfortunately, is the number that connotes sexual depravity and homosexuality. We already know how homosexuality for one is perceived in Jamaica. And so the number two has been alienated, exiled, vilified, and slowly and agonizingly, dying from its wounds of oral assassination.

Counting, commerce and language cannot be the same without the number two in its proper context. Imagine teaching your child to count or even do simple arithmetic. Foolhardiness maybe more acceptable in popular culture hence it’s cool to say one, second, three, but try holding a formal discuss in that manner.   

Jamaicans are bi-lingual - oops, bi also means two. Let's rephrase...

Perhaps Jamaicans are more multi-lingual than was original thought. There’s Patois, the Queens English, Jamaican English and on the flip side, the language of context which is spoken in the popular domain. Within this domain, nothing is at mere face value. Words and in this case numbers, have double meanings. The shocking part is that the language of context in Jamaican popular culture evolves constantly. Am surprised the number two has not been fully exiled already, but on second thoughts, it’s already taboo.



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Tags: Jamaica, context, culture, homosexuality, language, number, popular, two


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Comment by Shelleyan Lewars on January 20, 2012 at 1:54pm

Hahaa..thanks...I find the matter very absurd and decided to write about wouldn't believe the extent to which some people take  it.

Comment by CShout1 on January 18, 2012 at 11:42am

Insightful, funny, yet right on point. I love your perspective, this blog was a very nice read.

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