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Old 16th July 2007, 12:32   #76
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Good thread Sam. A revision always helps. It has been a long time since I have read the Wren and Martin. A good time to revise because in a few more years, I will have to teach my daughter some good English. I have no faith in schools and I do not think they can do a good job teaching finer points of Grammar. After the advent of SMS, English has gone down from good to worse. It is horrifying to see the acquired English of kids now a days.
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Old 16th July 2007, 12:34   #77
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I’ve seen this mistake occasionally*: people use maintainance instead of maintenance.
The verb is maintain, but the noun is maintenance (notice the noun has only the first “ain”)

* Occasionally is another word often spelt with two ‘s’-es. There’s only one.
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Old 16th July 2007, 12:34   #78
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Originally Posted by lurker View Post
then I think you are my target audience.
Quite possibly yes, if by that you mean I consider english more than just a tool for official purposes. My parents speak different languages - my wife's family speak yet another, and for me English is the cultural glue that holds this melange together That said, I'm perfectly capable of understanding all three languages, plus conversing in the local language of the city I live in (not one of the three mentioned above). I can also manage to communicate in Hindi and a smattering of Dutch - this last one purely out of interest.

I'm also wary of anyone who 'speaks for the group' as it were. No offence to you personally
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Old 16th July 2007, 12:41   #79
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Ergo, we started this thread, solely for those who'd like to make quality posts in English.

We're not doing the "How now brown cow" bit at all!

Besides the English, we're discussing punctuation too.

Which brings me to one point, that has been specifically requested by a dear member.

The Exclamation:.
While the verb is to exclaim, the second i is dropped in exclamation (just like explanation)

What is most obvious, is the sign (!)

What is often overdone unfortunately, is the usage. Please use it judiciously. Too many, or in the wrong context may be an eyesore. It's fine to say "Oh! I didn't know that." But please avoid "May his soul rest in peace!!! " lol

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 16th July 2007 at 12:44.
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Old 16th July 2007, 12:47   #80
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The Exclamation:.
While the verb is to exclaim, the second i is dropped in exclamation (just like explanation)
And sometimes two letters are dropped like

Maintain <=> Maintenance
Sustain <=> Sustenance
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Old 16th July 2007, 12:59   #81
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I think the main problem with Indians speaking (or trying to speak) English is that, it is mostly learned quite late in their life. Hence it is heavily influenced by their native language. In Indic languages, positions of verbs, nouns and adjectives in a sentence are quite different compared to English. And this is the main reason for confusion in Indian speakers and English listeners.

Ofcourse, accent is another problem. And this itself is very different among people in India, ranging from "isskkool" (school) in North to "burrrninggk" (burning) in South. The main problem here is incorrect usage of accent/stress in the syllables. Again, seems to be influenced by the local language.

And thus born Hinglish, Manglish, Banglish etc..

The above issues are comparatively less in "convent educated" people who generally learn to handle English quite early in their life. They usually develops a neutral style different from their native language. However this is still a luxury in most parts of the country.
Since mushrooming of call centres, one most important shortcoming of Indian-english speakers has come to the forefront. It has been found that the college and school going crowd esp the excitable young men and women speak English in a manner way too fast for anyone else except for a fellow Indian college-school goer to follow. This also applies to correspondents/newscasters/presenters who often speak into the mic/camera as if they are addressing a fellow college going teenie bopper.

The reason behind this probably lies in the fact that they speak in a different language at home and converse in English only when speaking to friends or for official communication. Their first language thus leaves an indelible mark on their English in the sense people tend to speak their first languages pretty quickly. Transporting the same style of speech in English is what turns English into Manglish/Hinglish/Banglish/Gujlish etc.

I think an attempt should be made to speak English more slowly and consciously while interacting with those for whom English is first language. Else the 'English as first-language' wallas develop an impression that the fast-talking unlegible 'Indian guy' is another smooth operator.
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Old 16th July 2007, 13:13   #82
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Guys,

I hate to be a wet blanket, but lets try and keep this thread as a concise reference for those interested in learning.

I think points and opinions about the language (and others) have been expressed and conveyed successfully, so please try and refrain from discussing that and further in this thread.

Thanks,
R
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Old 16th July 2007, 14:05   #83
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Default Of and Off

A common mistake we make. As most of us know, these words are not swappable.

Of:
Expresses an association, a relationship.

I am the King of all idiots!! Give me a piece of bread and a glass of water. She is a spicy girl of 22 years. I like the songs of Daler Mehndi. Delhi is the capital of India. There are 2 kinds of oil.
Each sentence here expresses an association between the subject and the fact.

However you cannot say things like "I fell of the horse" this is wrong.

Off:
has many different meanings and uses. All very enjoyable, as you will see. I love this word

As an indication of physical position:
Kindly get off my thighs, you are too heavy. Oh look, your pants fell off!

As the opposite of on:
Hey, switch the TV off! Her teeth really turn me off.

In India, it is a common mistake to use off as a verb. Like Please off the fan. Wrong!! Off is not an action.

Also another very Indian thing to say "Pappu ke pitaji off ho gaye" Oh well, I guess it means that Pappu's father expired. I don't think it's right, but that is Indian English, so we accept it smilingly. Well we're not smiling about the death. You know what I mean. Anyhoos...

As a relative direction: Let's turn off the road. The cigarette shop is just off the 2nd turn. The train stopped 3 kms off Patna.

As an emotional and mildly physical state: I'm really getting off, thinking about her.
It may appear to the uninitiated that the subject dislikes the lady in question, but actually he likes her. A whole lot.

As a commonly used rude exclamation:
Duck Off!!

To indicate that something is spoiled:
Oo it smells, I think the fish is a bit off. When you say this, you risk sounding like John Cleese.

To indicate a cancellation:
The Team-BHP meet is off.

To indicate the beginning of something:
And the drivers are off!! Absolutely correct.

Unfortunately if we related this to Indian English, all the drivers would be dead before the race started.

There are many more fun uses. But I have to go now.
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Old 16th July 2007, 15:43   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
A common mistake we make. As most of us know, these words are not swappable.

Of:
Expresses an association, a relationship.


Off:
has many different meanings and uses. All very enjoyable, as you will see. I love this word
Americans tend to use both together in a somewhat redundant way:

"He jumped off of the table" -- Don't think this is strictly correct

Another such redundancy I've observed is with is like this:

"The question is, is that..."
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Old 16th July 2007, 17:54   #85
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i am loving this thread. it brings back, memories of my school and college days.

great work sam, keep it coming.

thanks

Mansi
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Old 16th July 2007, 18:28   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
Americans tend to use both together in a somewhat redundant way:

"He jumped off of the table" -- Don't think this is strictly correct

Another such redundancy I've observed is with is like this:

"The question is, is that..."
Off Topic, americans also use of/off as a substitute to "have". and I have seen executives writing it in emails.

I of given that thing to him.
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Old 16th July 2007, 18:51   #87
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Off Topic, americans also use of/off as a substitute to "have". and I have seen executives writing it in emails.

I of given that thing to him.
I've seen this too. I can assure you, it's not Americanization. It's just terrible English.
People tend to say "I've" a bit like "of".

Unfortunately, coming back to my point of murdering your first language, some people with very poor communication think I've, or I have can be written as I of. In your case, even at executive levels.

It's just wrong and not acceptable in any country in the world.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 16th July 2007 at 18:55.
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Old 16th July 2007, 19:40   #88
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Another typical mistake committed primarily by Americans is to use two negatives in the same sentence - "I don't know nothing about this" or "I ain't gonna do nothing to resolve your problem".

Perhaps the most famous example of the above - "We don't need no education, We don't need no thought control"
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Old 16th July 2007, 20:06   #89
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Quote:
"We don't need no education, We don't need no thought control"
Oh dear; That's Pink Floyd... That's British!

And the double negative is basically street slang, or uneducated English (Hence, of course, the Floyd's lyric).

Here's one from me... is there any rule to determine which is the correct ending for words that end in -ence or -ance? I rely on the spell checker...
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Old 16th July 2007, 20:14   #90
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Here's one from me... is there any rule to determine which is the correct ending for words that end in -ence or -ance? I rely on the spell checker...
hehe... in such cases, whenever anyone doubts my spellings, i tell them, "Oh thats the American way. I am using British english"
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