Vuvuzelas: A Brief Inquiry

A word I didn’t know 72 hours ago: vuvuzela.

Definition: The South African version of the familiar plastic ballpark horns that the casual inebriate or wayward child uses to call attention to themselves with periodic un-poignant blats. But that’s a perhaps culturally insensitive view.

Relevance: South African football (soccer) fans deploy vuvuzelas by the tens of thousands and blow them incessantly. If you’ve watched (and listened) to even a minute of the World Cup so far, you know what that sounds like). Enthusiasts celebrate their presence at the games. “This is our culture,” one former member of South Africa’s national team says. This is how we create our national rhythm and dance.” Others see them as an annoyance, a hindrance to fair play, and a threat to hearing (there was a pretty good write-up of the vuvuzela issue last week in The New York Times: “Celebrating, and Berating, the Horn of South Africa.”

Use “vuvuzela” in a sentence: Would you please, please, please shut that thing up?”

3 Replies to “Vuvuzelas: A Brief Inquiry”

  1. I agree they are annoying but I am not in favor of banning them at the games. It’s their house. The rest of the world are the guests.

  2. I agree they shouldn’t be banned. Maybe what’s needed is a soundproof “Vuvuzela Zone” (or “Vuvuzela-Free Zone”).

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