Concept Paper - Salvage

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Albert Daniel E. Aligato February 13, 2013 English 10 - WFX-3 Final Draft of Concept Paper (1,059 words)

Salvage the People

A phrase easy to understand, though a bit grammatically off – “Salvage the People” would just mean ‘saving people from a wreck’ to the normal English reader, but somehow the phrase’s meaning would be different here in the Philippines. Ask around and you will get the same 'saving people” definition, still once in a while you would get a reaction of shock with a tinge of disgust, but why? According to, ‘salvage’ means ‘to save or rescue’, more specifically to wrecks on water (“Salvage”). But in the Philippines, ‘salvage’ somehow became an autoantonym, which is a word that formed a definition that’s the opposite of the original. Double-Tongued Dictionary defined ‘salvage’ as “to kill or assassinate” (Barrett). How did this evolve to be and why is it still in use? It is hard to pinpoint exactly when and why this meaning came to be here in the country, although there are some theories as to how. Some say it is rooted in our mixed Spanish and American colonial backgrounds. The Filipino language is notably accented with Spanish words, a side effect of being a Spanish colony for more than three centuries. The word in question is salvaje, which, according to Merriam-Webster Spanish Dictionary, is Spanish for ‘wild’ or ‘savage’ (“Salvaje”). Afterwards, the Americans came and standardized English, another big step away from the Austronesian-based Filipino languages. Ambeth R. Ocampo, Chairman of the Department of History at Ateneo de Manila University, says as English was introduced after the Americans took over, salvage was incorrectly matched with salvaje (or salbahe in Tagalog) since the two words looks and sounds alike, and it stuck ever since (1). A more popular...
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