Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My own stupid analysis: when ease sounds yucky

Good God I’m not a police officer (in Indonesia). ‘Cause if I were one, at some point in my career I would have been called a “kompol”. That is an abbrev for Komisaris Polisi or police commissioner (it was “mayor”, Indonesian for “major”, back in the era before the police wanted to be different from its army and navy competitors). It sounds like “ngompol”, an Indonesian slang for an act of “unintentional pee”. You know, as in “Honey, wake up, he ngompol again” – said a woman to her husband as their baby wets the bed in the middle of the night (conversation back in the days when diapers were not as good).

No, it’s not just the police, of course. I’m sure you have heard tastipikor, setwapres, jampidsus, musrembang, or back then, sesdalopbang (google-up yourself, I've made my point). I don’t know if it’s just me, but dikdasmen (pendidikan dasar dan menengah – basic and mid-level education) reminds me of basement and budpar (budaya dan pariwisata – culture and tourism) really sounds like a thunder.

Bank Indonesia is the winner. They have this campaign against counterfeit money with a rupiah identification method called “3D”: dilihat, diraba, diterawang (looked, touched, held-up-to-the-light). It is really funny, because they used the prefixes as the basis for the abbrev – not the words themselves! (lihat, raba, terawang – to look, to touch, to hold up to the light). Maybe it is because LRT doesn’t sound catchy enough. Or maybe they got it from marketing class somewhere. Well, in either case, I guess they could have come up easily with 10D, then – should they want.

Them in Hollywood are equally ridiculous: Brangelina.

Wonder now. Why is it SBY rather than Susbamyo? JK rather than Juskal?

Is this yet another market-gone-wild thing? Because I thought you can’t even force something that sounds too funny. So, I guess it’s a matter of time, kompol will die out. Wanna bet?

Shoot, I still prefer the SMS way.


  1. it's more yucky if one thinks "kompol" abbrv for "ekonom ngompol". :)

  2. or, "komentator ngompol"? :-)

  3. we're getting jayus. let it be back to the originial "komisaris ngompol".

  4. I think this country is getting JAYUS in all dimensions. Sjamsu, where are you know? Nice writing in TEMPO.