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Old 14th May 2010, 22:15   #1066
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I'm British, so if you ever hear me say, "Nice Pants!" you'd probably be worried why I am praising your underwear!

However, trousers is just the same. If we say nice trousers, the pair of is assumed, and nice pair of trousers/pants does not mean four legs!

Whilst I guess the origin of this pair business is in having two legs, why then, do we not speak of a pair of shirts --- when we also have two arms?
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Old 14th May 2010, 22:54   #1067
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Add to it : single word interrogative sentences, with an A.!

Lets assume you need to ask some one if there is a test tomorrow. What would you ask?

TestA?

And the "A" letter continues and glorifies the single word culture !
In AP, the question is 'Testaa?'. If the answer is affirmative, it is 'Test A'.

I find people of Bengal using 'the' almost in every sentence (no offence meant) and I used to tease my neighbour's son with questions like 'what is the this? That is the this or this is the that?'
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:28   #1068
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"The" every where and anywhere is one of my pet peeves. Just saw an advertisement in todays newspaper wherein the advertiser's tagline is "Experience the Excellence".
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Old 15th May 2010, 10:37   #1069
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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Well, I might be a generation older to you, but I think in English. It depends on one's schooling. I had the advantage of convent education all through my school years, where we were trained to not only speak in English but also dream in English .

But it is true that there are more and more people like me in the current generation, and this can be attributed largely to the all-pervasive fascination for education in English medium schools. I guess the IT / BPO industry has acted as a catalyst to some extent.
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Originally Posted by inreverse View Post
Even I attended a Convent High and College. Nuns/Sisters would break our knuckles if we could not speak grammatically correct English. I believe it's the "Indi" aka regional thing that shadows over a foreign language.

But, nowadays the western slang, ghetto drub and SMS lingo is the 'in culture'. No one want's to make full use of the keyboard anymore...!


Absence of time, quality reading material and the inability to imagine in the same language is probably the root cause for the lack in vocabulary.
To add to the above, I think there is no longer an incentive to learn good language.

The speakers (and writers) of good language were always a minority, let us call them the "haves". They were respected and people tried to emulate them.

Today, the speakers of bad language, let us call them the "have nots" are intent on gloryfying their "have-not" status in a form of reverse snobbery. They hold up their bad language as a (false) mark of "Indianess" or "regionalness" and deride those who try to speak or write properly. Those who try to speak better English are considered as remnants of the Raj, even Indian languages are not spared and speakers of good language are derided as "Pundit".

Children might be encouraged to think in English but, the quality of English teaching is incredibly low. For example: most teachers refer to "H" as "hechh" not the correct "Aitch". Wednesday is pronounced as it is written and not the correct "Wennesday". Therefore what children in English medium schools think in, is not English but "Hinglish" or "Tamglish" or "Telgish" or some such other concoction. TV does not help with the anchors each speaking their own peculiar brand of pidgin. The increasing fascination with Americanisms only increases the woes. Americanisms only add further confusion into an already confused perception of English in Indian minds.

It is time Indians started a movement for "Better Language(s)". Each language has a beauty of it's own and carries its own flavour and humour. It is painful to see the populace systematically murder each language they come across in the name of "individualism", "moderness", "universalness", "liberalness" or some other such "inane-ness".

Cheers,
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Old 15th May 2010, 14:56   #1070
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You are absolutely right. If you try to correct usage, you get told that language is always evolving --- which people think is an excuse for laziness and not bothering to be correct. I'm talking about my lifetime in UK, here, even more than my last few years in India. It is unfashionable to teach proper English even in its own country, and has been for decades now.

American English is a perfectly fine and valid branch of the language, which has some different spellings and vocabulary, but retains the same (as far as I know: I've never been there <Blush>) structure and grammar. Some of it, in fact, preserves older English usage which has not survived in UK, some of which. like the -ize ending, gets returned to UK. Certain tendencies, which I see to be largely American in origin, though, have been most destructive to the language. The whole management-speak thing should be dismissed by right thinkers as just being garbage! The ex-president of the USA, whether because of a brain defect (some say he is dyslexic; a rather kind opinion!) or some strange political reasoning, although being highly educated, chose to talk like an illiterate man.

When some of this stuff comes to India, it combines with a certain more-must-be-better attitude among some people here, who take words like upgradation to their hearts.

Hey ho.... enough ranting! !
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Old 15th May 2010, 15:43   #1071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Add to it : single word interrogative sentences, with an A.!

Lets assume you need to ask some one if there is a test tomorrow. What would you ask?

TestA?

And the "A" letter continues and glorifies the single word culture !

It takes different forms:
Ok(v)aaa? [Is this ok?]
your car-aaa? [Is this car yours?]
going to office-aaa? [are you going to office?]
Simply
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Old 15th May 2010, 15:58   #1072
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
For example: most teachers refer to "H" as "hechh" not the correct "Aitch". Wednesday is pronounced as it is written and not the correct "Wennesday".
Funny you should bring those up.

H -Haitch or Aitch (I don't think anyone should say hechh, that would definitely be wrong)

Most of my Australian and British friends say Haitch. There is some debate about the evolution of the pronunciation, but in general I don't percieve it as Indian-English, or wrong English. But I'm no authority.

Personally I'm a big fan of the German alphabet - where H is HA and that's that. HA!
Most of it is easy - AAh, Bay, Tsay, Day, AY (A is aah and E is ay and I is ee as opposed to eye) and so on. But then Y is pronounced oopsilon, which is like a big oopsie for me. I guess it comes from Epsilon. But I'm rambling.

What do you say Nick? Haitch or Aitch?

As far as Wednesday is concerned, I usually pronounce it as Wenzday. Wennesday sounds like it's got an extra syllable.
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Old 15th May 2010, 16:18   #1073
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Ravvs and Thad--you've covered it all, it appears.

Sam, i agree with you on Wenzday, but I think Ravvs is right regarding 'hecch' being predominant in the south. I've always heard 'Der Englanders' pronouncing 'H' as 'aitch' and never as 'haitch'. Same is the case with the Yanks.
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Old 15th May 2010, 16:49   #1074
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Hehe, and what I learnt in Belfast is that the Prods (Protestants) pronounce it Aitch while Finions (Catholics) pronounce it as Haitch!

If you cannot figure out this important social division from a person's family name you try to make him spell a word that has the letter H in it!
At the very least you are then sure which school he attended!

Last edited by anupmathur : 15th May 2010 at 16:50.
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Old 15th May 2010, 18:00   #1075
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Very true, anupmathur.

Quote:
What do you say Nick? Haitch or Aitch?
According to my upper-middle-class upbringing, Haitch was a big no-no! Always Aitch.

Sound like a slogan... Aitch for Ever Onward!

(sorry, being silly again).

I wouldn't be surprised if My Fair Lady (or Shaw's Pygmalion, though I confess to knowing only the film) has something to say about this; Haitch is very cockney

Class in English language is very contorted though. Upper-class English can sound very distorted and affected.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 15th May 2010 at 18:01.
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Old 15th May 2010, 22:45   #1076
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I stand corrected on the Wenzday. Guess my fingers got carried away when I typed Wennesday.

Haitch or Aitch might both be okay but hechh should be shot. Hechh has spread its wings far and wide and is not confined to the south of the Vindhyas.

Another one to chew on: Why is it not a pittza any more? I like the old fashioned ones where the uncooked base went in with toppings into a wood/coal fired oven and came out as one cohesive unit. I do not like the Piszas where the base is pre-baked and given a once over in an electric oven. Another case of sheer laziness to learn a foreign word? Guess the guys who say Pisza for Pizza will refer to Piazza as pyaaza (as in [chicken etc/] Do Pyaaza) .

When I was in Pondy this month, it suddenly dawned on me that it would not be correct to order "french fries" in that town. Somehow "chips" did not pass muster, thankfully the waiter offered me "frittes" offering me in one go both the word and the food I sought.

Set me thinking how we have forgotten that chips means those long sticks of potato - first chilled, then deep fried till crispy on the outside and served hot and can only think of something in a plastic bag. Those things in the plastic bag used to be called wafers just to distinguish them from the hot chips. Wedges of course would merely be thicker or coarser chips fried till brown and a little mushy.

Mention of cockney and class distinctions reminded me of "sarney" so unlike the genteel "sandwiches". A discussion on this would be lovely.

Cheers,
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Old 16th May 2010, 00:10   #1077
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Regarding pronunciation, this joke comes to my mind.
A student in chennai asked his English teacher, "Saar. How do we pronounce the word E-I-T-H-E-R. Do we say EE-ther or do we say AI-ther?".
The teacher thinks for a couple of seconds and responds, "You can pronounce it Yeither way".
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Old 16th May 2010, 00:28   #1078
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Default New building material

I came across this near Mettuguda in Hyderabad. Seems to be some new technology building material for constructing lightweight, energy efficient houses (there seems to have been a fourth piggy in the story about the three little pigs who built houses).

A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English-02062009.jpg

Move over, the discussion on whether it is brakes or breaks - there is a new kid on the block!!

(ABS or non-ABS, you better pray your car has brakes that do not break).
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Old 16th May 2010, 01:21   #1079
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ha ha... that one should be in the bell on the wall thread!

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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Haitch or Aitch might both be okay but hechh should be shot. Hechh has spread its wings far and wide and is not confined to the south of the Vindhyas.
note really: the letter is properly called "aitch" . What about Z? I call it zed, Americans call it zee. American English is fine ...for Americans

Quote:
Another one to chew on: Why is it not a pittza any more?
Any Italian members? We need an Italian! This is just the sort of word that is going to end up being second-hand, third-hand, or more. Sorry... the marketing guys want us to say pre-used, the car salesman want us to say pre-loved, and some BHPians want us to say pre-worshipped! Second-hand is just so ...realistic! I have no idea how an Italian would ask for a pizza. Maybe they wouldn't: I think Italians have a very different idea of "Italian" food to that held abroad.

Quote:
Set me thinking how we have forgotten that chips means those long sticks of potato - first chilled, then deep fried till crispy on the outside and served hot and can only think of something in a plastic bag. Those things in the plastic bag used to be called wafers just to distinguish them from the hot chips. Wedges of course would merely be thicker or coarser chips fried till brown and a little mushy.
Not in this house! Probably wouldn't surprise you to know that I cook chips a couple of times a week, and I eat crisps out of a bag.

Quote:
Mention of cockney and class distinctions reminded me of "sarney" so unlike the genteel "sandwiches". A discussion on this would be lovely.
Sarney is slang, not a proper word. slang does not mean it should never be used; it is fine to have different acceptable levels of formality in a language.
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Old 16th May 2010, 07:44   #1080
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
.... Why is it not a pittza any more? ....
Because it never was!
It was never a pittza; it used to be a peetsa, and has become a pizza for the ones for who would, quite likely, also ask for some Wor-ces-ter-shire sauce for their 'pizza'!
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