Friday, January 8, 2010

Phunny English

Its been quite some time since I wrote a thing on English. Here it is now.

We speak English, variety of them, mixing and matching with our own vernaculars...a potpourri of a different language in itself arises. As they say, Hinglish, Tanglish, Kanglish, Punjlish and what not.

The mission is accomplished if the matter to be conveyed is understood; be it in whatever manner or whichever English. True, that's why we are able to dominate the services sector and India is a melting pot of different languages and still we could communicate.

I have already put my views about pronunciation and orthography in the post - Ingilees or English?

There's one more dimension to manipulating the language by us. Its the speaking error; like the typing error.

Sample this - I sawed it

Oh no!! I was shocked to hear this statement from my junior engineer at work. "Saw" is by itself a past tense, you want to past past tense it again???

Instead, let me get sawed; will be saved from hearing such language!!

There's another common speaking mistake I have come across.

"There are lot of peoples" .....PEOPLES???? Plural'ing a plural?
"I have 2 childrens".......Poor children, imagine their plight!

A computer instructor once said See in the computer - his literal translation for "Computer mein dekho"

And here - Rain is coming - From where baby?
I once corrected a friend of mine; that the more appropriate way was to say "It is raining"
Guess what? Phutt! came the response. So then it is It is bussing instead of "Bus is coming"

I learnt my lesson not to correct anyone henceforth.

Then there's this He didn't told me........what??.....that you are killing him by your language????

Another most ignored blunder is when a pronoun is replaced by an adjective while referring to a third person

"Let she come" is what most people say. The meaning is of course conveyed but the usage absolutely wrong.

One more unavoidable kind is the influence of vernacular. I had this computer instructor who was from Bengal. He was once talking about usage of computers and he said Automated Tailor Macin

That was the ABC of computers we were learning and we all thought he was obviously referring to sewing machine; but when he wrote the spelling on the board; it was "Automated Teller Machine"

:-S could I forget people ending up replacing a simple word with a complex one just to show off that they use sophisticated words. "Revert" is used in synonymous to "reply". How very wrong!!!

"Revert" means "to go back to original". How can it be used instead of "reply"

I will revert to you later....... which means Sometimes later, I will become YOU....instead of plain and simple "I will get back to you later".

Jargon yes...but all wrong.

And extension of it is "revert back". I cant understand using "revert back to you" in any plausible manner!!

The cake here - Revert back to me with information
It would literally mean that I am asking you to get that information and become ME and back!!
(Maybe you can become ME if you drink some magic potion!!!)

Absolute nonsense!!

Its similar with repeat again , refer back and return back. Redundant usage.

Finally, its the one that irritates- SIMP-SIMPLY

Oh its not a new word that's been added in English. Its the literal translation of "Chup-chupke"

I am SIMP-SIMPLY dying here; unable to bear this all.............

Spare me!!


  1. hahahaha...this was one hilarious post..I was thinking - I will write this in my comment and next line had it..revert back, peoples etc...I still managed to find one term that is used by all..

    "you have got long hairs"

    Peoples, it is hair and not hairs..

    oops, I said peoples...please forgives me.. :P

  2. Very nice. Loved it. My pet peeve is doulbe negative, like "I didn't do nothing"...means I did not do anything. This double negative is commonly accepted in USA.

  3. now this is very very informative... take this example...instead of the right way " Do you have the keys?" , my friend sent me a text as " You have the keys" without even the question i thought he was just informing after some time he called me up and yelled at me...i didnt have a clue why he was yelling :D

  4. hii

    one most common mistake: pple do not differentiate b/w these 2 words- childish and childlike.. my cousin who is an extrovert keeps on telling everyone, 'u know, i am very childish by nature'.. hahhaha!

  5. It is bussing????? lol.. how cool is that! :D
    Hilarious post! Laughed my guts out.
    There was a maths professor in my college who used phantashtic english.
    Principal once passed through the corridor, and here's what he said to us: "Shhh.. principal just passed away." Ah, we were so happy - for a moment!
    "I have two daughters; both are girls."
    "Open the windows. Let the air force come in." lol... :P :P

    Loved the post to the core. :-)
    One thing though. 'Peoples' is sometimes correct english - when you mean "group of people speaking the same language or living in a particular area or country, etc."
    Like, "peoples of karnataka speak kannada."

    Will check out your older post on this topic soon. And come up with much more examples. Would love to read 'em. :-)

  6. This is true humour, everything is true and we are laughing..that revert has become quite popular now and he and his type usage of language is quite common in Hindi also..I feel so bad when some people just mutilate it.

  7. hahahaha ohhh god thank god you are not in my office else i would have been tharashed by you lolzzzz or maybe my whole team... coz each one of use revert back thingy ...
    that was really very informative... I promise i will never use that word hehehe :)

  8. Its one of the hobbies that I indulge in to kill time while in office.... :D

    Twisting the usage of words by others and slowly killing them :D

  9. Neha,

    Thank you. :-) Glad you liked it.
    As you mentioned one example..there are lot more

    "Personality" is used in place of "physique"
    "Full" in place of "fill"

    Never ending....:-)

  10. Hi SG,

    Thanks much. I know!! Double negative is quite common in USA and its accepted widely.
    I don't like it too.

  11. Hary,

    Glad you found this informative. True...A question is put forward as a statement and most times, ends up in a confusion

  12. AS,

    True!! Words are often misused.

  13. Karthik,

    Thanks a lot. Glad you liked the post.
    I have heard these statements..another statement is "Why are you looking at the monkey outside when I am here"

    Group of people are still PEOPLE or PERSONS

    And its "People of Karnataka...." and not "peoples of Karnataka...."

    People can be used as:

    1. singular noun - group of humans with some you said "People of Karnataka speak Kannada"

    2. Plural noun - here 'suppletive plural'. It is used collectively..."Missing people" or "Missing persons"

    PEOPLES is used rarely to refer people of more than one nation, group; i.e. multiple groups of an individual.

    "Peoples of Pakistan and India once shared a common country"

  14. Hi antarman,

    Thank you. I am glad that you liked it.Using 'revert' is considered the in-thing now.
    Its funny isn't it?

  15. Hi Rajlakshmi,

    Hahahaha......Thank you. Hope this post helps. :-)

  16. Hi Quest,

    Wow..nice hobby. Rape the language huh?
    Its ok unless you don't officially use it :-)

  17. That's true that's true. I gave the wrong example perhaps and it was wrong, I admit.
    But I meant the same thing as you - "Group of people belonging to a particular race or a community or a nation" - 'Indigenous peoples of karnataka'

    Well, never mind. It's a humourous post. Let me not make it a technical one. We shall discuss it some other time. :-)

  18. ROFL. Hilarious and to be honest- that revert part was an eye opener.

    Post the kinds more often

  19. Well yes.:-)

    You seem to be confused :-)

    And using "peoples" in my example statement is utterly wrong. "There are lot of peoples" is very very wrong. And yes, "peopels" is also used very very rare, and if used, it should be legitimate only whole referring to multi ethnicity, multi cultural groups.

  20. Holy Lama,

    :-D Thank you. I am happy that you are ROFL'ing. and it was an eye opener.

    If you want more of it, please click on the "Languages" under the Categories. I am sure you will enjoy :-)

  21. ROFL

    really awesome!

  22. Sorcerer,

    Thanks much. :-)
    Glad you found it good to ROFL.


  23. Hahaha! I actually fired up google to search for the correct usage of "revert back to you" since I was SO sure it wasn't wrong :P

    This was hilarious! More! More!

  24. Haha!! Hilarious!! I wish i could "revert back to you" and get such amazing writing skills!! ..
    One common line i find is : I "could" able to do it!! .. When i hear this in a meeting with supposed "top management", i feel like laughing my head out :P....

    As usual, its fun reading ur posts!!

    keep writing more of these!!


  25. Most of it is due to the fact that they think in their vernacular language and then translate it.

  26. Shaunak,

    You didnt believe me huh?? So bad :-)
    anyways, cross examination is always good. You are satisfied with explanation now I hope.

    For more, just go to Ingilees and English :-) Hope you read that.

  27. Rammy,

    Thank you, thank you :-)
    You can always 'revert back to me'. :-P

    Thats one common statment I have heard to and sad this is we cant correct them. :-)

    I will sure try coming out with more like these. Thank you :-)

  28. Haddock,

    Exactly!! They translate word by word and thus these funny things. :-)

  29. like the post
    important is convey the message or point

  30. Hilarious.You must have put in extra hours of work to put these together.It is very funny.
    REVERT is the one most misused(have I used the right words?)

  31. Hi sm,

    Thanks. Its true that conveying the message is important. Most times, it isnt and that leads to confusion

  32. Hi chowla sir,

    :-) Not much of an effort. Get to hear such things every way you turn.

    You used the right words. :-)

  33. Oh.. so much research.. either the post required a lot of hard work hehe or it was damn easy! :D

  34. The whole purpose of my blogging is to avoid transforming into one of those specimens mentioned in your post! Seriously, they kill the language a million times over :-(

  35. Oh My Goodness!

    An eye opener.....

    but I admit, Some of those examples are in my habit too.

    and its really ufffffffffff....

    Keep Educating me!

  36. Hi lostowrld,

    If the success is even an iota, then mission accomplished :-)

    All the very best :-)

  37. Makk,

    Thank you. Time to change your habit then :-)

    Will try my best to educate more :-)

  38. some of the classics I have come across

    1) I have two daughters, both of them are girls!

    2) Please don't shout in the class, the principle is rotating here are there!

    3) come anytime at 3:30 sharp!

    4) It is stuffy today. Open the windows and let the airforce/atmosphere/weather come inside.


  39. Hi Vishal,

    Thanks for sharing them.
    I have heard a couple of them too....

  40. too good...i also make several mistakes in english...ab toh aadat see hain mistkaes karne kiiiiiiii

  41. Hi Gayathri,

    Thank you :-) Hahahaha..that's what happens. We get used to it so much that right thing seems wrong.

  42. After I heared this words and the phanny ingliss maded my stomach hurted so bad that you cannot imaginable me. Luckily for me, and luckily for everybody, I am atleast not like this.

    When I was a child in my childhood, I remembered the day when rain was coming behind my cycle. I was also pedaling pedaling (one for the left leg and one for the right leg). The rain came off (note the "off") so much feeeeedly (speed). I also drived very very feeeedly. One rainbow came but still I was pedaling and pedaliing. two rainbow came you know. I was still pedaling and pedaling. but when the three rainbow came off, my pedaling and pedaling becamed slow slow. At last the rain came off on me and my cycle you know. (followed by a full stop and not a question mark. Who found this "you know" anyway?)

    Actually, frankly speaking, this bloody perfect grammatical English, basically, is bloody good, but sometimes bloody, frankly speaking, the original Indian English, basically, is bloody lot more fun actually. (I can imagine a guy in his fifties, working as a manager in a leading company, wearing his silk like Shah Rukh Mayur Khan suit speak like this)

    Great post dear.
    Wanted to comment earlier, but did not find time. It was very nice that you mentioned your old post. Went back to give it another read. :-)

  43. I loved this post:) enjoyed all the comments also..Keep posting something like this:)

  44. Cool one!
    I have had similar experiences too... lect once said--Rockets fly on the sky!!!! then, drinking tobacco.. etc..
    I too had written a similar post very long back... called Treasure chest! do go through it if you have time...

  45. Gautam,

    I couldnt stop laughing and I almost fell off from the chair. Lol!! this is so hilarious. Hahahaha.. You give me ideas sweets...always. I already got 2 ideas from your comments :-D

  46. Antarman,

    Glad you liked this a lot. Will try to post similar kinds. :-)

  47. Hi Tanmaya,

    Thanks a lot for liking it. Lol!! Rockets fly on the sky...hehehehehe
    I will sure visit to read your post on this subject.


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!