Glossary

H is for…

Harangue


In the glossary forming one section of the book Siloism originally published in 1972 or 3 we find the following definition of the word:
A form of allocution used by Silo. His principal harangues were: H of the Sea, The Healing of Suffering, The Forbidden H, the Seocnd Forbidden H. and the Third Forbidden H. The harangues were given in Chile and Argentina during 1969.

In any case the Spanish term arenga can mean a discourse, a pep talk, or something close to the English word harangue with its meanings of a long, scolding, and/or pompous address. In the early English translations of Silo’s talks the word was simply translated as harangue maybe walking into the problem that linguists refer to as “false friends”. Wikipedia describes them this way: False friends are pairs of words or phrases in two languages or dialects (or letters in two alphabets)[1] that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. An example is the English embarrassed and the Spanish embarazada, which does not in fact mean 'embarrassed' but rather 'pregnant'.

Not realizing any of that, and even today having no idea whether it would have been better to translate arenga as discourse, or something similar, personally I always thought that calling your most important, and seminal talks by this normally derogatory term was both charming and clever.