Thursday, June 10, 2010

english o english.

Sue handed me a big red marker quite some time back. I'd been lazy to sit and make make a note of all the bloopers, but then here goes...

Mails written with the intent of sounding official more than communicating whatever quite make me see red.
Not the perfect example, but something like this- where....
instead of asking the person - could I know your name?
you go to the extent of asking- I wonder if your honorable self could do me the great pleasure of letting me know your good name? .....
makes me go aaaaarrrgghhhhh!
I don't know if this is the accepted mode of writing in officialese, but it gets my goat that simple English is disallowed when you are writing to an official in a bank/PSU.
They don't TALK a different English, then how come they're supposed to READ a different English??

Again, its ok if ordinary people can't read/write or even understand English. Its just another language after all. But then, after you've been educated a whole decade in the language, and you hold a senior position in a respectable organisation, you better mind your spellings/grammar.
I LOVE it when my dear 'superiors' send me mails that are supposed to be a sample of the perfect way to comunicate to clients, with these mistakes-
did you recieve my mail? (recEIve is the correct spelling)
don't loose it (lose, not loose)
pls advice (advise, not advice)
revert to me (revert to is repetitive)
I enjoy the few times when I correct the mails and send it out, with a copy to the person who made the original mistakes.

I dislike officialese, but SMSese gets my goat more than officialese.
In our days, alphabets were English, and numbers were Math. But these days' kids seem to have it all wrong.
Dey cm 2 thnk engls n mth put 2gethr is gr8 and d way 2 go 4wrd!!
Gauri is yet to enlighten me on what exactly she meant to convey by the alphabets towards the end, in the post which was her contribution to the blogathon.

By a weird coincidence, I found this forward in my mail last week, that I'm copying here, cos it goes so perfectly with this post.
Enjoy, folks, especially all you MOPS out there. :-D


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England ..
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop,how come Mother's not Mop?




Sue said...

Love the poem! Thanks so much, will link.

Gauri said...

Which ones ?

CWOT ? That's a "Complete Waste of Time" :)))

And CUWTA is Catch Up With The Acronyms !! :)))

Enlightened ?? :))))

Praveen said...

I should watch out when I chat with you. I am so used to using short forms for words and SMS lingo on the chat box :D .

WhatsInAName said...

I stand corrected :p
Been committing a lot of those errors you pointed out ( or is it 'at') !!! I am really not too proud of my grammar but I console myself saying I have never been a language student he he!
Yes, english sure is funny!

Asha said...

The poem is really funny.. and true! :)

Suma said...

isn't that poem just hilarious! :)

just wait till your boy reaches 10 years of age, you will be 'un'educated in many things in no time :p

aargee said...

That was an interesting read!