Conradh na Gaeilge this morning confirmed that Breda O’Brien is being inducted into the Irish language. The new verb, “brédaobrien”, obeys the standard gaelicization procedure of “stick a fada on it”, and means “to retard, hold back, or otherwise impede normal progress”.
“Breda O’Brien’s writings really speak to Ireland’s history”, a spokeswoman told reporters after they’d patiently sat through the original Irish presentation, “Specifically those bits of history we’re still dealing with despite all our best efforts to learn from them and move forward. We can only hope that compressing everything she stands for into a single word will complete her life’s work. So that she can stop. Writing. So that she can stop writing and embarrassing us all so much.”
The spokeswoman went on to tell a humorous anecdote about how her child had bredaobrien’d their whole morning, screaming and refusing to get ready for school because she didn’t get the ice-cream she wanted.
Only hours old, the word is already finding widespread use. On my way to work this morning I passed three farmers performing linguistic nominalization as they struggled to extricate a tractor which had sunk into a bog. “It’s being a right brédaobrien of a thing this morning”, one swore. In fact, so excited was I to see this new grammatical usage that I accidentally stepped in a cowpat. But I dealt with this the same way anyone deals with a brédaobrien: cleaned away all the shite, and got on with moving forward.
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