Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indian colonization of English

Once upon a long ago, the English colonized India. With our frequent hartals, strikes & fasts-to-death, they finally got fed up and left.

But we weren't done with them yet. We have been working surreptitiously to take-over their language. With assistance from many other fellow ex-colonies. While the Americans set about ruining the spellings, the Indians worked on new meanings and extensions. And we're not satisfied with just adding new words such as Hartal, Satyagraha, Padayatra etc. We want to twist around original words as well. Hopefully the rest of the world will soon join us.

Some eg:

Revert: Not established yet inspite of frequent use, but will in the near future mean 'To respond or reply to.'
Prepone: Clearly a more logical antonym than 'advance'.
Thrice: If you can have twice, then why say 'three times'?
And Triple is more cogent than 'treble'. You already have triplets and triple jump anyway. And it's easier to 'triplicate' something than reproducing threefold. Soon we'll start working on Fourple. The 'e' at the end to be pronounced as 'ay'. Quadruple is too difficult to spell.

In the pipeline, some other terms we plan to introduce to the RotW.
Wheatish complexion for the Northies, and Ricish (Brown variety) for the Southies.
Victims of Eve teasing still face a lot of tension in their efforts to get some redressal of the same.
Passing out would not require the services of an allopath.
Even Tolkien uses sister-sons, so why not cousin brothers?
BHK will be a standard in all accomodation classifieds.

Now, am off to read some non-veg jokes that a batchmate forwarded. Meanwhile entertain yourself referring to these dictionaries. Or this blog

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where're you off to?

In most of the Anglo Saxon regions the standard exchange when passing an acquaintance on the street (or elsewhere) is to wish the person a Good [time of the day]. With greater familiarity, this might be followed by "How are you?". Keeping in mind that this is a greeting, and not a question, the expected response is along the lines of "Fine. How are you?". Past this you can safely pass, and get on with your lives.

In the Gelf, the greeting goes, Good {time of day} (or alternatively, Peace on You), followed immediately by "How are You?". And without waiting for response or catching breath, continue with "How's your family? How're your children? How're your wives? How're your goats?......"
Response would be something like, "Bright {time of the day}, I am fine, praise the lord. The kids are fine, praise the lord. The wives are fine, praise the lord. The goats are well fed, praise the lord...." And then you shoot the same set of questions back.
This could easily take a few minutes. This protocol is followed for phone conversations as well, before entering the purpose of call. And the telcos have made a killing out of this, with the mean talk time per call about 5 minutes longer than the international average.

In many parts of India, apparently the method of greeting a passing neighbour or colleague is to say, "Where are you going?". Note: Say, not ask. You're not expected to precisely answer this. Unless the questioner is you aunt, in which case, she probably wants to know. The expected response is to vaguely wave your hand in the direction you are moving, and say "Just, there." And smile, and move on.