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Old 12th June 2013, 21:28   #1846
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Poor souls. All that the man and woman (who are the subject of that description) wanted was a social license to cohabit and cowhateverelsethatgoeswithit!!!
It is easily phrased and anyone who knows Tamil can understand it! I don't know about your proficiency in spoken Tamil, so reserve my comment about your grasp!

If what someone wants is to merely cohabit, nowadays they may as well go ahead and do it, why seek for a social license? Even two guys can cohabit and be proud about it!

It is a cultural thing and not to be made fun of! We have a custom of tracing and proclaiming our lineage and while at it, certain other things; if someone is unable to do it or unwilling, it is their problem, not ours!

Last edited by Gansan : 12th June 2013 at 21:33.
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Old 12th June 2013, 23:14   #1847
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Talking Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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"Co-brother" is another such marvellous improvization (perhaps to ensure mutual exclusion of aspersions for each other's wives).
Let me tell you a further improvization of Co-brother.

One of my close friends has 5 Co-brothers. Instead of calling them Co-brothers he has shortened it and now a days lovingly calls them "COBRA".

An example, Bangalore COBRA bandidru (Bandidru in Kannada means had come).

He is also good at creating a compound word using two different languages, Kannada and English.

An example is "Self-Samadhana". He is trying to convey that the person is trying to console himself.
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Old 13th June 2013, 03:04   #1848
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I was adopted as an infant. Does that mean I was brought up by co-parents?


I do agree about the imprecision of -in-law, and that it is particular confusing when it comes to brother and sisters. Greater precision required! But I'd like to see better terms created.
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Old 13th June 2013, 07:52   #1849
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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How do you phrase a question in English to know someone's order of birth - shall we say filial order? To ask whether he is the first, second or third child for his parents, and within that whether he is the first or second son?

This question can easily be phrased in Tamil, and I suppose in any other Indian language.
I have heard that it is called the "Sibling order".

Q: What is your sibling order?
A: I am the fourth child .

The problem with the above is that most people do not know what to call it, hence do not know how to respond.

EDIT: Just found that it s also called the "Birth Order". But the dilemma with this question is the same as Sibling Order.

Last edited by hrman : 13th June 2013 at 07:59.
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Old 13th June 2013, 08:15   #1850
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Long back in school, I asked someone how to put this "how manyeth" question in proper English and I was told the right way is to ask: "What rank do you hold in/among your father's issues?"

But if I do that most people in India would probably not understand, heck, some neglected kid might even think I'm just trying to make fun of him/her.
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Old 13th June 2013, 08:23   #1851
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post

Umm... only if you are asking that question to a ghost. No?
Unless you are absolutely certain that the parents of the subject are no more. But even then the question would be, "Were you the only child of your parents?"
I think,"Were you..." is an acceptable usage in the sense of "Were you the only child your parents had?" Had as in beget rather than possessed.

I remember an uncomfortable situation where I met a friend after a few years out of touch and we were swapping histories. I told her, "Guess what, (my wife) and I had a baby last year." She looks at me strangely and asks, "When you say "had", you mean...? " I hastened to assure her that the baby was still with us! She chastised me saying I should use "have a baby now" instead.

English is funny. A lot of my usage comes from my mom who was trained by a bunch of Anglo Indians growing up, so it comes across as archaic these days. I still think there is nothing wrong in the way I pronounce tortoise for example ("tor-tiss") but have grown tired of the number of purple who "correct" me saying, "Oh you mean tor-toyce? ! "

Last edited by noopster : 13th June 2013 at 08:27.
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Old 13th June 2013, 08:54   #1852
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I remember one of my English friends commenting about languages getting frozen in the past. She said the English used in India is from the days of British rule, and Indians often try to infuse some difficult/uncommon words in a conversation. According to her, even in England the language is much more diluted now. I feel there is some truth in that statement. Later I noticed something similar with the Tamil spoken here in Singapore. I can understand bits and pieces of Tamil spoken by some colleagues in Chennai, but it’s extremely hard to understand the local Tamil in Singapore. The reason could be same – the language used maybe from the age of their forefathers’ migration, and has not evolved since then.

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English is funny. A lot of my usage comes from my mom who was trained by a bunch of Anglo Indians growing up, so it comes across as archaic these days. I still think there is nothing wrong in the way I pronounce tortoise for example ("tor-tiss") but have grown tired of the number of purple who "correct" me saying, "Oh you mean tor-toyce? ! "
So true! I can see my 5 year old girl trying to manage the conflict when she watches Disney Junior and CBeebies (American v/s English)
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Old 13th June 2013, 09:56   #1853
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I remember one of my English friends commenting about languages getting frozen in the past. She said the English used in India is from the days of British rule, and Indians often try to infuse some difficult/uncommon words in a conversation.
This is absolutely true. A lot of phrases we use are either locally made up or stopped being used like a 150 years back in British English. One example - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_needful

Last edited by carboy : 13th June 2013 at 10:01.
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Old 13th June 2013, 10:18   #1854
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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This is absolutely true. A lot of phrases we use are either locally made up or stopped being used like a 150 years back in British English. One example - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_needful
There are a couple of guys in my team who, when they send emails to me seeking approval for something, request me to "do the needul". Once I give my approval, they reply thanking me for "doing the needful" . Really does sound archaic!
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Old 13th June 2013, 10:25   #1855
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Later I noticed something similar with the Tamil spoken here in Singapore. I can understand bits and pieces of Tamil spoken by some colleagues in Chennai, but it’s extremely hard to understand the local Tamil in Singapore. The reason could be same – the language used maybe from the age of their forefathers’ migration, and has not evolved since then.
That is right. Similar is the case with Malaysian and South African Tamil. They use words and phrases which were in vogue in the 18th / 19th centuries, when their forefathers migrated.

It is even more pronounced in Sri Lankan Tamil, whose split took place at least a thousand years ago, if not earlier. The way they speak it , and also some of the words they use - which can be found in ancient literature,but not used in present day Tamil.

Happens with any language group who settle down in far off shores, I suppose.

Last edited by Gansan : 13th June 2013 at 10:27. Reason: Spelling
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Old 13th June 2013, 11:08   #1856
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

We discuss these complex situations, but there are well educated professionals who struggle with simple stuff.

This happened once to me.

Me: She was a Hindu...
He: She is a Hindu.
Me: Is she alive?
He: No, but she is a Hindu even after death.
Me: Um, that is not grammatically correct.
He: Go read your English grammar book, you will learn something.
Me: Duh!
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Old 13th June 2013, 12:49   #1857
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Me: Um, that is not grammatically correct.
He: Go read your English grammar book, you will learn something.
Me: Duh!
That's new. Did you check the grammar book later on?
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Old 13th June 2013, 12:52   #1858
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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... He: No, but she is a Hindu even after death.
Me: Um, that is not grammatically correct. ...
You were right, it IS grammatically incorrect. The 'is' is applicable on 'she' - the subject. Not 'Hindu' - which is describing the subject (Hindu is an abstract noun or an adjective, depending on the situation in the sentence). If she 'is' no more, 'she' will be perpetually 'was' after her demise.

Was he perhaps trying to validate / insert the concept of rebirth and soul with / into grammar?

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
... The question may not be inquisitive - it may be from the guy taking census! ...
Sorry, had missed this earlier. Census (I think you mean the Central Govt. one) doesn't bother itself about the "birth order" - it is quite simply Name, Sex and Age (DoB), and then Education, Profession and income bracket.

The inquisitiveness (or, to contrive a word: botheredness ) is always in a social context - to evaluate how one should relate to the 'standing' of the other person. To put it jocularly, this normally translates to the vertical positioning (high, level or low) of the nose when face to face.

Last edited by DerAlte : 13th June 2013 at 16:09.
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Old 14th June 2013, 00:05   #1859
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I think,"Were you..." is an acceptable usage in the sense of "Were you the only child your parents had?" Had as in beget rather than possessed.
The person may still be an only, but is no longer a child!

Quote:
I remember an uncomfortable situation where I met a friend after a few years out of touch and we were swapping histories. I told her, "Guess what, (my wife) and I had a baby last year." She looks at me strangely and asks, "When you say "had", you mean...? " I hastened to assure her that the baby was still with us! She chastised me saying I should use "have a baby now" instead.
No, she's wrong. Your wife had a baby last year, and had a baby, in this context, means gave birth. God forbid that your wife should still be in labour a year later!

This is a good example of idiom, where a set of words is understood to have a specific meaning in a given circumstance.

Quote:
I still think there is nothing wrong in the way I pronounce tortoise for example ("tor-tiss") but have grown tired of the number of purple who "correct" me saying, "Oh you mean tor-toyce? ! "
I'd say tor-tus, like taught us but that is a minor quible: tortoice is just wrong! Please consider your feeling of smugness when others say that to be entirely justified. Love the spell-check-helped typo, by the way.

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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
This is absolutely true. A lot of phrases we use are either locally made up or stopped being used like a 150 years back in British English. One example - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_needful
American English has preserved some British English, even spellings, that UK lost --- and it is funny to hear current-day Brits claim the the Americans are wrong.
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Old 14th June 2013, 08:55   #1860
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I remember an uncomfortable situation where I met a friend after a few years out of touch and we were swapping histories. I told her, "Guess what, (my wife) and I had a baby last year." She looks at me strangely and asks, "When you say "had", you mean...? " I hastened to assure her that the baby was still with us! She chastised me saying I should use "have a baby now" instead.
imagine the discomfort when somebody says "my wife had a baby last year".
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