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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Guna Guna Post

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guna - (Malay) v. use or to use

Guna is a deceptively simple word. Apart from Malay, it is also a word in 11 other languages, 12 if you count Indonesian (similar to Malay, but commonly used in a different context). But in this post, we'll stick to the use of guna in Malay, used in Malaysia, since Walki has no expertise in Awabakal, Kamilaroi, Swahili, Uyghur or any of those other languages (with the possible exception of Indonesian).

But guna is also an abbreviated form of many Indian names. Take Gunalingam, or Gunasegaran, or Gunasamy - for short, we'd call all of them Guna.

Back to Malay linguistics, though, guna can have many connotations, depending on how the word is used, or if other words are added. Which is the gist of this post - enough words, cause the rest is in pictures (mostly).

Image hosting by PhotobucketArticle by P. Gunasegaram, taken from Screenshots

tak Guna
Image hosting by PhotobucketOwner of Screenshots recently implicated by Guna

When you add a negation of tak (meaning 'not'), you would think you get 'not' guna, right? WRONG - tak guna has a totally different connotation - it means 'hopeless' or 'good for nothing' (with apologies to Jeff Ooi).
(more guna's of guna in the full post)

kena Guna Image hosting by Photobucket"used" or "manipulated" as father-in-law says may be the case
(image taken from Screenshots)

tamat tempoh Guna Image hosting by PhotobucketPast (one's) shelf-life - no wise-ass guesses on which one, okay?
(picture by
AFP, taken from here)

Such a wonderful word isn't it? Simple, yet with wide-reaching and diverse meanings... AND FINALLY:

Guna-Guna Image hosting by PhotobucketMagic spell, charm or hex

which is something we're all probably under, since one one simple, four-letter Malay word could have created so much havoc lately!!