Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mind your language !

The day sms came into existence is also the day the English language was abused and slaughtered to death. Until then humanity was fine with grammatical and spelling errors, and other mistakes which does not fall into these categories but you could find them on my English answer sheets and on this blog :-/ On my answer sheet I messed up all the tenses and teacher marked them in red . But on this blog, you will not see any red, but if you are a regular reader, be aware that your proficiency in English is dying a slow death ;-)
(Just factually joking, please visit again)


There are people among us who were educated in regional languages in school. The struggle they went through when they were in college and further pushed into a corporate environment was definitely huge.  So when these guys speak English they may make mistakes but the good thing is, these get auto corrected in the long run. I admire such people who had to make double the effort to get at par with convent educated counterparts. This is however, not about them.

 It is about the ones who were born into houses which had Wren & Martin in them.
I use ‘4’ for for, and ‘u’ for you in smses and facebook. But would I use that slang when I start a business of my own and print brochures? No. And trust me; there are people who do that. When we were children, we grew up in a time when English was just English and there were no separate versions to it. Well there was Shakespeare but let’s not go into that ;-)

 So we could associate our English lessons with language we used in real life and get the gist of it. But nowadays we have converted Basic English into a mockery of signs that it makes me terrified of how and what my toddler will learn as he grows up. Like right now I am unable to write a sentence without a smiley in it :-o

Children always learn from the tune of the times. For example my two year old knows angry birds but not any normal birds; I mean the ones which are cool and not bumping into pigs. So trends define our vocabulary. I know parents of teens who are horrified after discovering an entirely distorted language in whatsapp and chat windows, thus murdering effortlessly and brutally what was once the medium of poets and great authors.

I was even more horrified to see a non-Indian mother at a mall in Dubai who was searching for her teenage son, and later found him at a store staring at something. She went ‘Why don’t you just f****** tell me when you go somewhere?” Can you blame this boy who will eventually grow up talking like his mother?

 I cannot fathom people who think it is cool to write in sms dialects while advertising their ventures on facebook and twitter.
‘Hey dudes and dudettes out der…wud u luv to hav som heavenly chocolate mousse or cuztom cakez at ur parties and functionz? If yez den luk nowhere, u’ve reachd de rt plaze! Chk out our yummyliciouz brochure and start makin ur orders rt away !

How seriously would you consider this venture, or this person?


I am not perfect that way either. On whatsapp, I type Malayalam words in English font. Because I feel writing ‘meen curry’ instead of fish curry brings in a certain flavor  :-D.  And Mummy thrashes me for it. ‘Why did I even send you to school! Either talk in Malayalam or in English !’ she argues.  Well, she has lesser worries than me. If not for English, my other option is Malayalam, which is fair enough. But for my son, besides English, he has various options to choose from.  One for chat, another to send messages meant to be deciphered by his friends and another to write essays in school. 

As a parent, dz dat leav moi wid any optn?  :-o

21 comments:

  1. LOL , Anita , this was sooo funny, very true as well. I also agree on the part that foul language is fast becoming the norm. Personally I don't think these foul words give a very low class impression weather in English, or Hindi/Urdu. It's always better to sound eloquent and graceful, rather than sound uncouth.

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    1. LOL i meant personally i think these foul words , GIVE a low class impression. Typo!!

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    2. haha ! Sms language is acceptable to an extent, as long as we are clear where and when to use it. One cannot expect to write 'take care' while standing in a footboard of a bus with a smartfone the size of a notebook. Typing 'tc' will be better. But while writing a greeting card to an old teacher, writing 'Hey man' and 'Chill' or 'Dude' etc is completely inappropriate. If we know the difference then its fine, dont u think?

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  2. Hehehhe, Well right now I am commenting through my phone, so pls excuze za sms lingo. :P
    Ok on a serious note parents talking in a filthy way to their kids will only get it back at some point of time. and Yes I had this Bihari friend who was really poor in English. Now he hard work and the people he chose to be around has brought a huge change in him. Respect !

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    1. Haha I have no problem with the sms lingo as I use it too on a daily basis. I only have issues when people dont know where to use it.
      Even my husband was taught in Malayalam medium, but now people dont believe it. I have heard from him how he dint understand a word when he went to college !

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  3. I thought using "brb" or "jlt" was as far as sms language would go, but now when I see my kid brother and sister typing, I faint. I cannot decipher anything that they type and have to call them up to have a coherent conversation :O Ditto! I cannot finish a sentence without a smiley :P

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    1. haha I love smileys...its a way of getting across expressions ..and I love the little yellow faces :-D They should really include these as a part of the language... so when we write something about historical tragedies in answer sheet we can include a sad smiley. It adds an extra punch !

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  4. i literally went LOL reading the 'meen curry/fish curry' bit and ur mom's response to that. But yes, as you can see in my previous sentence, using shorthand versions of words and local dialect is now common place while typing.. grammar while using Whatsapp!!? Neva !

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    1. Glad I made you laugh! Because usually you are the one making people laugh through your hilarious posts ! Unfortunately I have to check grammar and spellings on whatsapp when I chat with Mummy...she is strict even on whatsapp ! Sigh

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  5. I still remember the horror of writing all the tenses....
    12 tenses had to be practiced in First person,Second person and third person.
    Then active and passive
    ....This grammar training sessions used to get repeated every summer vacation....
    Though i hated it...it has become a great foundation :) :)

    Of course i am going to take my revenge....i will make my kids write it too...once revenge is done with..they are free to choose their form :) :P :D

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    1. Haha My Mom used to make me write in four lined book, some paragraphs she chose from Reader's Digest. I used to hate those exercises..But I still have a neat handwriting thanks to her !
      Your kids will definitely know what to write and where...they are getting the best training ever!

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  6. I hate it when people type 'da' for 'the'. Yuck.

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    1. Same here. And I also hate it when people type 'ma' for 'my'.

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  7. That facebook advertisement you just quoted just made my eyes bleed.

    But no English, no metaphors, oh well.

    A very grave concern, (but do tell your Ma that there is a formal name to this typing of regional languages in English, it's transliteration.)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. Transliteration. thanks BA, I dint know there was a word for it. You just educated two people..!
      Yeah that was an example... there are pages that are worse!

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  8. With English fast becoming the global language, all of us are customizing it according to our needs and backgrounds. I am one person who dislikes hacking words into mindless mumbo jumbo but after traveling to other parts of the world, I realized what I thought was right is not necessarily the absolute right.

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    1. Could be. May be we should tweak certain words for convenience. May be we should not. Depends on perception of each person, and I am someone who thinks that atleast at some point of time people should take their language seriously, like publishing brochures.

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  9. Oh thank u, thank u so much Anita for this post. When people wrote ttyl to me[and this happens frequently] I scratch my head and waste a lot of time wondering wht it cd possibly mean[ofcourse i didnt google it...then whts the point huh], until today. A million thanks once again....and with this my quota for learning one new thing everyday also has been fulfilled too;-P.

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    1. hehee I know Nancy...and some sms lingo which my counterparts use and I dont understand, makes me feel like a granny :-/

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  10. People are surprised when I send them SMS in complete proper sentences ( comma and full stop included )

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  11. Yep! It is considered old fashioned to be using proper language and punctuation marks!!

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