The sign I have chosen to discuss is a vinyl sticker on a car. The sticker contains only text, which is in white, and reads “Yo Soy Boricua, Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!”. This quote translates to “I am Puerto Rican, just so you know!”, and is in a large, cursive font. The symbol is monolingual (Spanish), and is located in Woodside, on Northern Blvd and 53rd Street. I drive past there nearly everyday on my way home, and it is there, or in that area, quite often.
This linguistic landscape is not only telling us that the owner of this vehicle is Puerto Rican, but that they are proud of it. The symbol is emphatic, with the use of an exclamation mark at the end of the quote. The history of this quote specifically is that in 1995, Taino (Joel Bosch) released a song with the title of this quote. Following this, the quote became a symbol for Puerto Ricans around the world, and nearly an icon. In New York City, at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, this quote is still chanted by many. This sign gives me a clue that this neighborhood may have a population of Puerto Rican people. I know this for a fact, as I went to a high school two blocks from this sign, and have a lot of Puerto Rican friends who live in the area. This sign is written in Spanish, yet it’s ‘slang’. This is because it does not follow the proper grammar of written Spanish. This is most likely due to the fact that the symbol is meant to reinforce Puerto Rican pride, and grab the attention of the reader. The improper grammar is also a means of being unique and displaying part of the Puerto Rican culture (through its language).
- Do you think I should go beyond the sign in this neighborhood, and go more in-depth on what my Puerto Rican friends who live there have told me?
- How could I add to my first, description paragraph?