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Irish language

Are you a conformist or do you have any controversial opinions to share?

ABBA: The Swedish popsters have gained such an untouchable reputation in the pantheon of popular music that to say anything to the contrary could earn you a platform shoe to your rear end
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, welcome back mes amis and mis amigos to the wonderful world of the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer is all in favour of saoirse cainte - freedom of speech, so he is very happy to listen to opinions he doesn’t agree with.

We won’t get anywhere only listening to people who agree with us. It’s nice to know but it gets boring after a while.

So today’s question, my friends, is ... What controversial opinions do you have? The ones that make your friends go “Whaaa?”

Cad é do bharúil? means what is your opinion or whatcha think, in common parlance.

The sentence that follows will most likely begin with creidim - I believe, or sílim - I think, or is dóigh liom - which means I am of the opinion that ...

For instance, is dóigh liom go bhfuil Theresa May iontach sexyáilte - I think Theresa May is very sexy.

Or creidim gur cleasaí a bhí in Barack Obama - I think that Barack Obama was a chancer.

There are lots of opinions that go against the grain and the more the merrier says the Bluffer.

Take twitter for example.

Some people just don’t like it.

Tá sé leadránach/seafóideach/ - it is boring/silly although some others think it is thar barr - brilliant or úsáideach - useful.  

For some, it is a great way of sharing opinions while others see it as a means to insult people. 

Masla is an insult while a gratuitous insult is masla gan tuilleamh.

Thug sé masla dom means he insulted me but of course it might be an insult to something or someone you hold dear. It could be something like - although I’ve never actually anyone say this -  

is fuath liom Abba - I hate Abba and you just have to change Abba to say ceol tíre - country music to get a cowboy boot somewhere sore.  

Or you could say that Jon Snow should retire because he is getting a bit doddery or that RTÉ’s coverage of the north is  is brilliantly incisive or that Mark Mallett has a really, really charismatic personality or that The Blame Game is hilarious or that Donald Trump is really a lovely, deeply caring human being deep down inside or that Wings were far better than the Beatles or .....

The Bluffer could go on (and on and on and on) because, well, some beliefs are conspóideach - controversial but they don’t really add up to a hill of beans in this crazy world, whether Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan was the best James Bond or whether porridge is better for you than Corn Flakes. 

The danger comes when controversial statements that should be blown out of the water from the very beginning become part of the mainstream.

As Voltaire wrote: “those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

If you believe that every single Muslim is out to do us harm or on the other hand, that all westerners are “infidels” who must be destroyed, then the path to destruction is clear.

The belief that certain groups of people are inherently evil or inferior to ourselves because of their skin colour is pure racism yet it is still widely held. And then there is sectarianism, bigotry, class snobbery, etc – and I haven’t even got round to gingers yet! 


saoirse cainte (seersha kiyntcha) - freedom of speech

Cad é do bharúil? (cadge ay daw warooil)  what is your opinion 

creidim (credgim) - I believe 

sílim (sheelim) - I think

is dóigh liom (is doey lum) - I am of the opinion that ...

is dóigh liom go bhfuil Theresa May iontach sexyáilte (iss doey lum gaw wil TH eentakh sexyaaltcha) - I think Theresa May is very sexy

creidim gur cleasaí a bhí in Barack Obama (credgim gur clasee a vee in BO) - I think that Barack Obama was a chancer

Tá sé leadránach/seafóideach (taa shay ladraanakh/shafoyjakh) - it is boring/silly

thar barr (har bar) - brilliant 

úsáideach (oosaajakh) - useful

masla (masla) - an insult 

thug sé masla dom (hug shay masla do) - he insulted me

masla gan tuilleamh (masla gun tiloo) - a gratituous insult 

is fuath liom Abba (iss fooa lum abba) - I hate Abba 

ceol tíre (kyawl cheera) - country music

conspóideach (conspoyjakh) - controversial

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