Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Words and their Meaning: Wiki

Wikiwiki means quick in Hawaiian. Why wikiwiki instead of just wiki is an etymological mystery, but it reveals telling sociological insights. One of the charms of Hawaiian culture (and island culture in general) is a slower and more reflective pace of life. Perhaps this is manifest in a language where even the word for 'quick' is twice as long as necessary and contains four syllables while our hurried, impetuous culture squeezes it into just one. However, in true imperialist fashion, the word has been abducted, stripped of it's native soul, and pressed into service as a quaint linguistic trinket in our frenzied, techno-centric culture.

Part of speech: noun.

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