Society is recently busy with the polemic of the word "Anjay" in various media, including social media, and involved the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA). This polemic has also attracted community attention amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regardless of the polemic that occurred, Indonesian Literature Linguist, Dr. Suhandono, gave his perspective. According to him, the meaning of a word is what is in the person's mind when she or he hears or reads a word. Since the substance is in mind, the meaning of the same word would be different from person to person, depending on the experience's hearer.
Likewise, about the word "Anjay" people can interpret it differently. If the hearer does not know the meaning and the speaker explains what the word anjay means, the hearer may accept that explanation.
"But even though they don't know, people can guess the meaning of words based on their experiences," he said at the UGM Faculty of Cultural Sciences on Tuesday (9/1).
Suhandano continued, in everyday lives, there are only teased words. Likewise, with the word "anjay," people can interpret the term that refers to 'a dog,' or it has a negative connotation to mean bad when it is used for cursing.
According to Suhandano, the word 'dog' as a curse word has a bad meaning because in Indonesian culture, dogs' connotation is unclean, dirty, greedy. Meanwhile, people sometimes mock the word because they don't have the heart to say it as it is because it will seem vulgar.
"Likewise, the cursing of "asem" and "bajigur " in the Javanese community, for example, the meaning certainly does not refer to tease of tamarind fruit and the type of drink," he said.
Therefore, the word "Anjay" and any other words that can create a bad impression and misunderstanding should be avoided. Even so, it may be used if it is in the context, and the people involved in the conversation already know each other well.
"The context is different, in the world of comedy, for example, there may be more vulgar words than that, but it's normal because in the context of comedy stuff that deviates from common things can be considered normal," he concluded.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A