Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wrath Upon English!

  
Image: Inmagine.com


"Did you cutted your hairs?"... An unforgetable question that will rest in my memory for eternity.

I am not a paid editor or a proof reader nor do I find nirvana in correcting people, but it just becomes too hard for me to not to cringe over the erroneous words uttered together or independently. And as long as my cringing is silently mumbling inside my head there is peace. The moment it's out, no matter how sugary my words are, people take offense. Ergo, I have been tagged one of the most bothersome grammar Nazis around.

Nobody likes to get corrected specially by a non-authoritative person and I value that, furthermore not everyone is open to learning and I get that too…yes its individual choice to remain in the deep dark primordial well. So, it's fine with me with the title and the indifference of the ignoramus minds, except that flaws in the language peeve me and my oh-so-understanding nature refuses to show up. And I'm not talking about confusing cousins like "then" and "than" or "accept" and "except" nor I'm speaking of the catastrophic use of apostrophes, where "Girls' Hostel" becomes "Girl's Hostel". I'm talking about the other sort...the sort that gives acidity to Mr. Shakespeare in his grave (Lord Bless His Soul).

Look, I don't expect anyone to be an expert in English, neither am I. But, I fail to understand, how people can make humongous blunders and furthermore refu
se to learn and correct them.
The other day a co-commuter asked a woman before me 'where are you get downing?'. Initially, I ignored it as a slip of tongue until she repeated merrily the same ‘downing
statement. This time it was for me.  Anyhow, I couldn't correct a stranger while all she needed to know was my destination, so, I replied, "I'm getting down at Bandra"... stressing on the word "getting". Alas! She repeated the "downing" question, again, to another girl.

I did my schooling from a fairly good school, it's one of the sister branches of a very prestigious school. And it had
some very good teachers too, but it did give me a few cringing moments. Some of the teachers were accustomed to asking the loud chatty bunch of students to "talk slowly". What they meant was "talk softly". But sadly, they never got the difference between slowly and softly as they literally translated the Hindi word "dheere" here. This mistake is quite common among many teachers here. My itch to correct our educators knows no bounds. I hope they realize soon how amusing it gets for the students listening to their teachers making such howlers.

My friend Brendan aptly call
s this perversion of the English language in India as a revenge on the British for ruling over us for two centuries. I couldn't have agreed more.


*****
P. S. If you find any howlers in this post, kindly state it on the comment section. I detest living in the primordial well.


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48 comments:

  1. I cant get past grammar mistakes. I am the official proof reader of all my friends :|
    Even if I dont want to, I just subconsciously start checking for grammatical mistakes.

    The one I really hate is when people use third form of verb after 'did'
    Yes, I am aware how nerdy it makes me sound :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does not make you sound nerdy at all. It's all about loving the language.
      Third form of verb after 'did'-- terrible :-/

      Delete

  2. Where are you get downing???
    Lol.. I can't believe this!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Imagine the horror I had to go through.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. *Bows*

      I achieved the impeccable writing here with the help of my friend, Brendan :)

      Delete
  4. People hate to be corrected and the funniest word I ever heard was "Please download your information to Ravi"....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh my... looks like people are just getting creative with it.

      Delete
  5. Cutted your hair? Haha...lol! This post has rung some very sweet forgotten memories in my head Nam! Thanks for that :) Poor English...keeps getting mutilated :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha.. I would love to hear the stories Bushu :D

      Delete
  6. Great Post, Namrota. I share your concern and get pretty shocked when even well-educated people are the source if poor English. What we speak or write, speaks about our English. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Amrita, it's shocking when well-educated people make such mistakes while they have been speaking the language for ages.

      And thank you :)

      Delete
  7. I have a friend in Germany who uses second form of verb and did together. I don't know why I can't ignore that. I corrected her several times but she still makes the same mistake. Maybe I expect more from people who don't come across "horr ki haal chaal", "endaa", "yo yo honey singh" as often as us.

    Nice post! It encourages me to proof read before publishing my posts. But I guess I am too lazy to beat laziness! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your German friend makes a mistake that's very common among non-English speaking folks including Indians. And not correcting it even after being told is again pretty common with them.
      Looks like it makes two of us.

      Delete
  8. I couldn't help but cringe at 'downing' Haha
    http://itzzynitzzy.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  9. I find myself noticing the errors quite often but I try not to correct unless I know the person very well.
    But I have to admit the 'talk slowly' err softly went completely unnoticed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correcting people is a tricky job, better to choose the safe side.

      Delete
  10. Oh! You might have just 'hurted' the feelings of some people! :D I not just itch, I feel like peeling my skin off! :-/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure I must have 'hurted' the feelings of not just some but many people. :D

      Peeling the skin off eh! .. I hear you girl *sigh*

      Delete
  11. May be beginner do stuffs like that, "Cutted the cake and putted inside the mouth" ;) I would say let them try as long as they are willing to correct their mistakes. Many are restricting themselves just because of their doubt "what if others laugh at my English?"

    No harm in it. Even an English would talk in "cutted and putted" Hindi / any Indian language, when they attempt first. Let them groom. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my point Propelsteps, one must be open to learning English or any other language for that matter. And I'm not even talking about beginners, I'm talking about people holding high ranks and who have been interacting in English for years. I have encountered people who are so accustomed in speaking wrong English that they think it's right and when corrected they block their minds. And that's bad.

      I agree with you that many restrict themselves for they think people might laugh at them. However, people shouldn't stop learning, should they :)

      Delete
  12. Very true, Namrota:)
    It's all about English Vinglish! Reminds me of the recent movie- English Vinglish! Also the 'funnnny' movie Namak Halal that has Amitabh Bachchan's famous 'English is a very funnnnny language' dialogue!

    You have rightly observed that some people literally translate the Hindi words to English!
    Like using 'we' instead of I to mean own self akin to the Hindi word- Hum ( that's used by some to mean 'Main'!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! Now that's new. "We" instead of "I" akin to the Hindi word "hum" for "main". -_-

      Delete
  13. LOL... ROFL!

    "the sort that gives acidity to Mr. Shakespeare in his grave" loved this peculiarly humosristic spank!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! *takes a bow*

      Don't I just love being funny ;)

      Delete
  14. Hahahah :P lovely Namrota!
    It's weird listening the new ways of how people use verbs, adjectives in a twisted form to bring about wrath upon English!
    Ya toh, sahi bolo ya mat bolo English :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People are getting creative Aayesha :D

      Delete
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    I ♥ your blog!

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    ReplyDelete
  16. ha ha ha..I enjoyed reading this post..Nice :-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much... I'm very happy you enjoyed it :D

      Delete
  17. lol I can relate with this post.. can't agree more :p interesting post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe looks like you have had many experiences Meera ;)

      Delete
  18. Ha..ha..ha:):D A great post indeed:)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Replies
    1. You mean like.. Ha.a.a.a...Ha.a.a.a...Ha.a.a.a?? :D

      Delete
  20. Hmm...when illiterate people make such mistakes it is acceptable...not otherwise!
    Also when people repeat these mistakes even after been told repeatedly, then that is beyond my limits of tolerance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the point... learned people speaking the language for ages making such mistakes is not acceptable.

      Delete
  21. An English teacher, I hate it when people go out of their way to find out errors in grammar and spelling... But I also hate it when people make stupid errors like 'get downing'...

    I have always said that language gets into one's blood stream just like mother's milk; that's why the first language is called mother tongue. Any language should follow the example of mother tongue :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second you there. You have put it so well. :)

      Delete
  22. The most common error that even great english professors make is using twice the past form in a sentence. ' Did you went there'?,

    ReplyDelete
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  24. We can apply this to any language and hence I fear talking in languages I am not fluent :). The horrors of grammar might make Jedi Master Yoda lose his composure :D.

    ReplyDelete

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