Maybe and her sisters

Tallinn Graffiti

Oh, Waffle will hate me for this.

The word I have been working on to morph is maybe. That wonderful, flexible, versatile and sweet word. I can answer just about any question with the word “maybe”, in its different forms. Waffle does not like it. It makes him uncertain. It makes just about anyone doubt their existence.

Why am I so fond of that little word? The answer is simple.

I come from an area called Savo, in Finland. The dialect and culture of Savo has one very distinctive feature. That is, to never, ever say anything too directly. You need to think of a way to stroll around the subject a little while. Let’s take an example; somebody unsuspecting comes and innocently asks you how has the day been. As a person from Savo, you will never ever say it has been good, you have been doing great and things are just going the right way and all that. No.  You stop, sound out a long “Well…” and start mumbling something like “I think it could have possibly been worse, indeed, feels a bit like it might have been a good day!” In general one should add as much conditionals as possible into the answers.

You can understand, that simple conversations sometimes end up taking a lot of time. Sometimes people from outside of Savo struggle understanding whether the Savo person actually agreed or disagreed on the matter at hand. For example, I am asked to go to a movie, I reply; “Maybe we should go, yeah”, in Finnish “Voijaanhan tuota männäkkii”. I have the feeling of clearly stating yes, but the person asking is puzzled. This is my disability.


You might be wondering what does all that have to do with a simple maybe. Well, that Savo communication of mine, it is usually done in Finnish, or the Savo dialect of Finnish. For me, it is a little bit difficult to bring all that into English, especially in the middle of conversation. So I unfortunately have to replace the complicated conditionals with the simple maybe. Maybe and all the different intonations of it. This makes my dear Waffle go crazy.

In our day to day life maybe now means:

  • Yes
  • No
  • OK
  • Might be possible yes, but I would rather see some other options
  • I would say yes, but your tone is irritating so I use maybe instead
  • Not today, tomorrow maybe
  • I am unable to make my mind and would prefer you doing that decision
  • You should know I don’t really like it but if you absolutely want to
  • You are right but I’m not admitting to it
  • Yes, I like it but I don’t dare to say it directly
  • Maybe

The list of my maybes goes on. You should now feel very sorry for Waffle, thank you Daily prompt about Morphing


2 thoughts on “Maybe and her sisters

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