Think this must be an affliction that all self-admittedly supercilious Indians share, especially since this is a superiority claimed because of their relatively better grasp on that proudest colonial legacy- the English language. We get irritated by wrong usage of idioms and direct translations from the native tongues into English and we proudly turn up our noses and simultaneously look down on such. Here are a few that I have come across.
- “I want to leave my hair open“- Open? Your hair? Good heavens! After a lot of dredging and meticulous research in the campus of REC, Surat (where I managed to educate myself in a lot of fields save engineering :D), I deduced that this must be a direct translation from the Hindi usage “baal khula chodna…” (Wrong usage of Hindi grammar may please
be excused ;))
- Some people are so bruised by having to ‘pay through their nose’ for stuff that they also start ‘charging through their nose‘; ew!
- Like is likeliest the most oft-used word, the filler of fillers, and a lot of conversations are liberally sprinkled with likes that “I was like so upset” when “she was like so nice about it”. The verb must be the least used and liked form in India 😛
- And, oh dear, why is everyone everyone else’s “dear” irrespective of age, gender, relationship or rank- socialism in its nicest form, don’t you agree?
- And please, call me old-fashioned if you must, but let’s not call the guys or for that matter, any guy, lovely!
- Relationships get thoroughly mangled with brothers and cousins doubling up as cousin-brothers. Is that why we abhor marrying cousins?
- And for heaven’s sake, let’s not confuse‘ striped’ with ‘stripped’ or ‘excited‘ with ‘agitated‘ or we might be sued for inappropriate use of language.
- Are we really anti-aunties? So ‘pronounced’ (pun intended) is our dislike, you see.
- Let’s NOT be stingy with the apostrophes, it’s not the same if its usage is wantonly switched or skipped! Brides maids are NOT the same as bride’s maids (Now, I’m confused whether it’s the comma that’s missing or the apostrophe!). Possession IS a fact at one level but let’s not let it seep into the language, please.
- And what on earth is a head-bath? We sure act ‘brain-washed’ (intended in the most literal sense possible)!
- With preponement, we made our singularly ‘advanced’ (pun very much intended) contribution to the language 😛
- And why do we have to put up with ‘bridey‘s and that too, sugary ones!
- We make it a point to mention the ‘date of composure‘ of letters; how well-mannered and sensitized are we that we understand when applications had last retained their ‘composure’?! Is this derived from the ancient philosophy that debates whether inanimate things also experience feelings and emotions?
- And such is our obsession with fair skin that at least some of us’ll feel complimented if told that we look white as sheets 😀
- We keep taking things, including ‘tension‘; we never ‘get’ tense! (Explanatory note for the uninitiated: ‘tension mat le‘ is a saying in Hindi and this seems to be derived from there)
- And it is only in India that teachers ‘take exams‘ and students ‘give them’! (Again, thanks to the ham-handed influence of Hindi)
By now, at least some of you must be echoing the title ; sigh. And, before I forget, apologies for the spelling and grammatical mistakes.