JournalismPakistan.com September 14, 2019
I was teaching a class the other day and sharing my favorite 'isms' from back home with the students. Like, 'I am not remembering it.' Because 'it is not coming in my mind.' Maybe because 'sleep is coming'. There is so much coming and going occurring, and it is like traffic at gridlock time.
Every part of the world has its peculiarities, so it can be lots of fun listing out some of the more obvious ones. Don't worry, the native English speakers are no less a mess. So when they laugh at you, you can laugh back, enough grounds for it. Gloster and Lester so much easier to spell the way they are pronounced. Kansas is an ass but Arkansas is a saw, go figure. And Yosemite would be a much better geyser instead of rhyming with marmite. And if you want to say Chumley, just say it, don't spell it Cholmondeley.
Landed in London yesterday and made a new list as we drove. Hunstanton is actually Hunston, Warwick is Warrik, Magdelan College at Oxford is Maudlin. Well, alright if that is the way you feel about it. Go study at Chissik (Chiswick) or take the tube to Grennich (Greenwich), but get there on time. And wherever in the world I give this class, I try to remove these blips and hope that they leave this session a little wiser.
Today, I had a good experience. You probably did so far as you did not say 'today morning' because that is a phrase that gives you away so completely. Keep it in mind and stay away from 'cope up' because the up is a downer. And while you might want to take on the moving finger and wish it to rewrite fate, do not call it to return back. Since you cannot return it forward, throw it away.
I met Mr. Ravi, he is a gem of a person (take your choice, diamond, pearl, ruby, whatever) and he asked me my good name, which I said, "Myself Bikram, your good name?"
What if you didn't like your name and had never forgiven your parents for harnessing you with it. Just saying someone is decent, generous, pleasant, a delight to be with is sufficient and the allusion to jewelry redundant.
He asked me to 'do one thing.' You cannot do a thing. This is one word that has been stretched over many sins, but the 'true' fact (as opposed to a lie) is that 'thing' is just that inanimate thing and cannot, in any circumstances, be done.
I told him not to mention it and that I would do the needful, anyway.
Passing out of college has become acceptable through usage, but it is still suspect to the purist. You graduate because passing out is a situation that calls for smelling salts and fainting spells aren't much fun.
Meet me at the back side of the building. A friend of mine insists on always pinpointing this location both back and front. And no amount of persuasion has failed.
I am hearing a lot of noise today. For sheer clumsiness that is a tough one to beat. We use 'am' far too liberally and, in most cases, it is probably because he must be knowing all the answers.
I am not understanding.
We all say this and even I was hard-placed to get out of the habit: my computer got hung. Most of the human race goes through life mixing up hung, hang, hanged and hunged. Rule of thumb is to go with hung in all cases, except with someone receiving the capital punishment, in which case it is hanged.
All too often we double up and make no sense, but we don't realize that there is anything wrong in what we have said. These are my favorites; I hear them every day and no longer flinch.
. Actual experience (as compared to what, the unreal one?)
. Advance notice (that is what a notice is, an alert before the event).
. End result (a result is an absolute, avoid saying 'end,' please).
. First began (oh, yes, of course, some of us are second began although no clue what that means).
. Invited guests (I guess some of us have the uninvited drop-in, but then they aren't guests, are they?).
. Free gifts (pretty simple, if it isn't free, it is a gift).
. Say it again once more (we do not realize we are repeating ourselves).
. First and foremost, let's begin (it is a commonly used phrase, almost accepted in speeches and sermons, but still intrinsically wrong).
. They arrived one after the other in succession (okay, need I say more?).
. I went there personally (so, could you have got there impersonally? Maybe, you are capable of becoming a molecule).
. I need a new hot water heater (cool it).
. The evening sunset was beautiful. (I have always wished to see a morning sunset, just never had the chance).
He told to me that I had a very good command of language skills, but I am not understanding these days why people not writing good. Too many diversions, no?
Like I meeting this pretty girl, telling her to meet me back side of the building. I saying we share tiffin together. But she not agreeing my invite, so I am thinking maybe I making little mistake. Now she telling on me. But, at least, we win all the spelling bees.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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