Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 19th July 2013, 18:44   #1936
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,602
Thanked: 6,688 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
You are right, I am not sure is the diplomatic equivalent of I don't think. It is something I picked up from the Americans.
I ranted about it a few pages back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
^^ It's very interesting how speakers of the Queen's English use understatement to convey the exact opposite effect. For example, "I'm not sure that's such a good idea" translates to "I think that's a terrible idea". It can cause misunderstandings when the person addressed is not familiar with colloquial usage. Many years ago, I offended a colleague with my one-liner admiring reply to something he had sent for review: "Not bad at all". He replied indignantly that he had asked if it was good, and not if it was bad!
That is not understatement, which is also very British. For example, Londoners might, at the moment (It's 30C-plus there) say, "It's a bit warm!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
But is 'not bad at all' a compliment? I thought it is used whenever you want to covey an above average result or in a situation like "not bad at all for a first timer'
Yes it is a compliment. But we also find a lot of humour in our own language. I recall a dinner-table conversation with my mum, about her cooking:

Me, "That was not bad."
Her, "It wasn't meant to be!"

A common reply to, "How are you?" is "Not bad!" or "Not too bad." Here is an interesting meeting of British and Indian thought:

My mridangam teacher, "Hello Nick, How are you?"
Me, "Not too bad, guruji."
Him, "Always a little bit bad will be there!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Something similar. My project manager had given me instructions not use the word 'doubt' in any communications with American clients. 'I have a doubt' translates to more of 'I am doubting'. Instead, we were told to use 'I would like to get a clarification' or 'could you please clarify' or even 'I have a clarification'!
I have a doubt is typically India, and not typically British, English. Actually, we are are more likely to have doubts than to have a doubt. If you think you have just been told something wrong, you can reply, "I doubt that." Or even, "I doubt that very much!" I think you can also say, "I am doubtful about that." Depending on how you say it, you could either be calling into question whether the other person has their facts right or not, or doubting their honesty.

"I have absolutely no money to pay you."

"I doubt that very much!"
Thad E Ginathom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st July 2013, 12:01   #1937
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 8,625
Thanked: 9,096 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

^^ A lot of Indians get confused between "I doubt" and "I suspect". For example there was an employee that I was worried about since his involvement seemed to be dipping. His manager told me, "I doubt that he has got offer from some other company". I should have been reassured but his expression suggested otherwise. I asked him, "Do you mean you suspect he has an offer from elsewhere and that's why he is acting like this?" He nodded, "Yes. I doubt it very much."



Edit: Clarification on that "not bad at all" comment. The guy who wrote the article was a techie doing so for the first time and sent it to me in my role as the Marketing guy. I found it to be simply and well written, of course with some scope for editing. The admiration was for that. If you have seen how techies normally write, you would understand!

Last edited by noopster : 21st July 2013 at 12:04.
noopster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st July 2013, 12:47   #1938
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,602
Thanked: 6,688 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

It took me a while, in mridangam class, to get that "do you have any doubts?" meant, "Is there anything that you don't understand?"
Thad E Ginathom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 11:16   #1939
Senior - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,607
Thanked: 1,855 Times
Default Re: Quirky logic and funny comments from non-petrol head friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This time both my uncle, his wife and his sister were the car.
So two uncles were in the car? Or both the three (uncle, wife and sister) were in the car?!
selfdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 11:36   #1940
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,042
Thanked: 13,488 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

I used both to refer to my uncle and his wife, then added his sister. What would be the correct usage?

My English is nowhere close to perfect. Read this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...tml#post718764 (A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English)
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 11:56   #1941
Senior - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,607
Thanked: 1,855 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I used both to refer to my uncle and his wife, then added his sister. What would be the correct usage?
No expert here either, I have no idea! Maybe just remove the word 'both'?
I was reminded of this joke (perhaps Readers Digest or the joke thread here) where a professor asked his students to get out of the class - both of you three get out! I am looking for something to keep me awake at work on a Sunday morning

Last edited by selfdrive : 29th September 2013 at 11:59.
selfdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 13:22   #1942
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,079
Thanked: 251 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

There were three people in the car - my uncle, his wife and his sister.
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 14:44   #1943
Senior - BHPian
 
vnabhi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DC -> DC
Posts: 5,204
Thanked: 1,195 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
There were three people in the car - my uncle, his wife and his sister.
Sounds clearer.

Another way to put it would have been: "This time both my uncle and his wife were in the car, apart from his sister. "
vnabhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 14:59   #1944
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,079
Thanked: 251 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Or my uncle and aunt and the uncle's sister were in the car.
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 21:43   #1945
BHPian
 
lemedico's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Agra, Belagavi
Posts: 68
Thanked: 25 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

I'm glad to have found such a thread on tbhp! Being an avid "Grammar Nazi" myself, it's nice to see there are others who also care about using English properly and also correcting others when a mistake is found to have been made
I guess this habit comes from my birth in the land of English- Great Britain!
lemedico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2013, 22:28   #1946
BHPian
 
Guite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Noida, NCR
Posts: 463
Thanked: 171 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Or my uncle and aunt and the uncle's sister were in the car.
The addition of "the" does not sound correct. Instead another "my" will sound and feel more correct, as in, "my uncle and aunt and my uncle's sister were in the car".

Going back to the original sentence by Samurai san, removing the word "both" should solve the problem, IMHO. Like this, "This time my uncle, his wife and his sister were in the car".
Guite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2013, 08:55   #1947
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,079
Thanked: 251 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guite View Post
The addition of "the" does not sound correct. Instead another "my" will sound and feel more correct, as in, "my uncle and aunt and my uncle's sister were in the car".
....
You're probably right. I thought the 'the' would define which uncle's sister was travelling; the uncle already mentioned.
In fact this sentence would sound fine without 'the' or 'my' preceding 'uncle'.
"My uncle, aunt and uncle's sister were in the car". I think this sounds more natural.
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2013, 09:05   #1948
Senior - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,607
Thanked: 1,855 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
"My uncle, aunt and uncle's sister were in the car". I think this sounds more natural.
In terms of relatives, an uncle's sister is also an aunt. So, can we say 'An uncle and two aunts were in the car?'

I am sure by now they all want to get out of the car!
selfdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2013, 09:15   #1949
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,079
Thanked: 251 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
In terms of relatives, an uncle's sister is also an aunt. So, can we say 'An uncle and two aunts were in the car?'
...
Ha ha, in terms of relatives, uncle's wife's sister would also be an aunt and we'd be leaving people guessing which two aunts were in the car!

And I'm afraid these poor folk will have to keep sitting in the car till we resolve this sensitive issue!
anupmathur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2013, 09:28   #1950
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,042
Thanked: 13,488 Times
Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
I am sure by now they all want to get out of the car!
Yes, I am sure.

When I started the sentence, I was not planning to mentioned all 3 of them. So I started with both. After I wrote uncle, I remembered his wife was also present, although she didn't contribute to the story. I didn't want to say two aunts since I wanted to point out which aunt was the the car savvy one.

Frankly, I don't get into so much analysis/paralysis when I write long posts and articles. With my limited grammar knowledge, I can never get everything right. Therefore, I focus on getting the idea across. I don't want to be like the French when it comes to language.

Professor Henry Higgins: The French don't care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A YetiguideŽ to Coffee Sam Kapasi Shifting gears 351 5th July 2017 16:15
A YetiGuideŽ to Airlines, Airports and Domestic Air Travel Sam Kapasi Route / Travel Queries 1011 10th June 2017 15:59
A YetiGuideŽ guide to tattooing! Sam Kapasi Shifting gears 89 24th May 2017 15:20


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 16:54.

Copyright Š2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks