May 25, 2006

Of some interest

Hindustan Times of May 21 2006 has a feature called "Chipping away at the language barrier", about English-speaking classes in Bombay. There's much to learn from this, and I think I should share what I learned from it with you because it might interest you.

Do rest assured that when I say "it might interest you", I mean "IN-tuh-rest" and not "in-ter-REST".

I mean, do REST assured. I think.

Anyway, at one of the classes the article describes, you will indeed learn that it's "IN-tuh-rest" and not "in-ter-REST". Not only that, one student at that class got fined five ... Eclairs. Why? Because she says "CON-vur-zay-shun" instead of "con-ver-SAY-shin".

If you can imagine.

I mean, doesn't she know that it's pronounced "IN-tuh-rest"?

Another "grooming expert" mentioned in the article goes beyond language, and she is -- I quote -- "popular with those who don't want to appear gauche on the social circuit."

And how does she manage this? "It's not your accent but what you say," she says. (Her accent while saying so is not mentioned). Thus, "using F@*k, S*!t, or 'thrice' instead of 'three times' are all unrefined, as is laughing loudly."

(No, I don't know how to pronounce "gauche" either. Just say "IN-tuh-rest", got it? F@*k!).

And there's more from this "grooming expert":
    "When two women show up wearing the same outfit to a party, remarking that they look like waitresses is wrong. Good grooming teaches you to compliment both on their good taste."
That's right! Even if they both look like S*!t, even if they are really displaying the bad taste of karela, even if they are in fact waitresses and are trying to serve you, you've got to compliment them on their good taste.

Better do it thrice. Sorry, I mean four times.

Because the trouble is that
    "many society people don't know 'orchid' is pronounced 'orkid'", says a horrified [selfsame grooming expert].
If you can imagine.

I mean, they've been going around pronouncing it "in-ter-REST". I mean, HA HA HA!

(Yes, "F@*k" and "S*!t" are both pronounced "IN-tuh-rest". Now shut up and let's have some of those eclairs).


Anonymous said...

Good fun. :)

Anonymous said...


Mridula said...

What all we get in the name of grooming!

Blue Panther said...

was that supposed to be funny?

FifthBeatle said...

I've personally always been surprised by the Indian tendency to butcher the word 'develop/development' [which they pronounce Dev-lup / Dev-lup-mint instead of Dee-vel-up / Dee-vel-up-mint]

zap said...

Anglais ne's pas moi mothertounge, so I am allowed my accent.
Neither is french. :)

km said...

And which leg do we use to hold the knife?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Mridula, at least they are not giving you grooms in the name of grooming. Or maybe they are, who knows.

BlueP, nope. It's a true story, and true stories are never funny.

Arnold, you got it wrong. "Development" is actually pronounced "IN-tuh-rest".

zap, in French you have to choose between the accent and the grave. If you choose the grave you die laughing.

km, I have no clue. I don't have a leg to stand on.

Anonymous said...

This is great stuff. For what it's worth, we here in the States have plenty of people who can't speak their own mother tongue.

Frankly, I love the Indian accent and I am quite certain there are FAR more Indians speaking excellent English than there are Americans speaking even Marginal Hindi, Punjab or other language in the Indian region.

Nevertheless, thanks for the slice of humor ... I can't wait to get back to visit. :)