Posted tagged ‘Indian English’

Know your Indglish

October 7, 2010

From yesterday’s Indian Express, in a story about a new abattoir for Chennai:

Accommodating the concerns of the locals on slaughtering goat and small-time businessmen involved in the meat trade from the abattoir, Subramanian said, “It has been decided to allow slaughtering of 500 goat per hour against the previously planned 250.”

I am definitely with the locals on this one.  Whatever these small-time businessmen may have done, you can’t just slaughter them in the new abattoir.  Come on, this is not 1984, and these are not Sikhs!  Check out what a seasoned politician (Chennai Mayor) Mr. Subramanian is, though! See how nicely he side-stepped the issue of slaughtering businessmen, unless of course,  goat is a metaphor for a small-time businessman.

I remember seeing a few other shockers in the same paper, but can’t recall many of them now.  There was this gem, though, about a CWG participant having emergency ‘route canal’ surgery! Looks like the correspondents are learning by hearing these days.  BTW, do these papers have editors or are they just a bunch of bloggers texting their stories in? 

And then there was this curious one about someone being ‘enlarged on bail’.  Now whatever the heck this means, I didn’t know, but I could guess that this guy was let out.  I Googled this phrase, and it seems to be everywhere.  Where does this come from?  After bail, these people are perhaps at large, hence ‘enlarged’?  Apparently, Khushboo was enlarged similarly in 2005.  I have to disagree; the bail had nothing to do with the enlargement.  It was all there already.

Just remembered this story (also from the same spectacular day), which I can’t find online on IE, but Deccan Herald to the rescue with almost the same title:

Now, blinds can use computers freely!

I got excited reading the headline in the print version.  First, why would window dressings possibly want to use computers?  And second, what kind of invention has now freed them to do so?   I was eagerly looking for  some answers, but it turns out that these blinds are actually blind people (yeah, suck on that, you politically correct peepills) and this was about a computer they could use.  Talk about a letdown! The whole episode reminds me of the ‘Cubans’ in the ‘English Patient’ Seinfeld episode.

GUILLERMO: Jerry Seinfeld please.
JERRY: Ah, you must be Kramer’s guys. (indicating) Come on in. You got the cigars?

The guys enter.

GUILLERMO: What cigars?
JERRY: Kramer said I was supposed to bring him back some Cubans.
GUILLERMO: (indicating the threesome) We are the Cubans.

Our parents encouraged us to read the papers to improve our English, but seems like dangerous advice to give anyone these days.

And now, for something completely different, check this out.