Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bit of a chinwag

Well, I though I was pretty conversant with the English language. So when I was asked to attend the ‘integrating with the UK workforce’ training programme, I assumed I wasn’t going to learn anything spectacular, and looked for ward to a good day of R & R at the companies expense.
The course, as it turned out, was an eye-opener in more ways tha one.
For example, only in India do we use the term ‘non-vegetarian’. Here you’re either a Vegetarian, Vegan, if you don’t eat meat. I mean, just because you eat meat does not make you a ‘non-vegetable-eater’.
There is no such word as ‘pre-pone’ that we so generously pepper our phone conversations and e-mails with. You either postpone a meeting or bring it forward.
I have no ‘batchmates’. We passed out from the class of ’01, sure, but unless we’re referring to cookies, there’s going to be no ‘batch’ business.
Eveteasing- again, you’ll spend all day explaining to your British Colleague what ou mean.
A jumper does not mean someone who’s contemplating ending his life by leaping from a skyscraper. It merely refers to a commonplace article of outer clothing.
A lollipop Lady, again, before the imagination runs amok is merely someone who helps school children cross the road.
Jimjams do NOT refer to that delicious jam biscuit we used to love finding in our tiffins at school. They’re just plain ol’ pajamas.
Fags are not a derogatory reference to your sexual orientation- they refer to butt kissing- erm, cigarettes, I mean.
And in the ‘cockney rhyming slang’, when you’re referred to as ‘old china’, they’re not referring to the tea set left by your grandmum. It’s the way they call you mate.
I'm now quite chuffed that eighteen pence has her two bob bit sorted!


chica said...

your writing is very much fine. :)

hmm, what if you eat fish but not meat?

Lekhni said...

You might want to add that you do not "pass out" either, unless you mean you lost consciousness. You graduate :)

Iyer Education said...

that explains why people never understood what i wanted when i said i need something vegetarian...

also there is nothing called "yesterday night", which we most often use... its last night

PS: i had to write that... you are stealing students away from the iyer university by writing such posts ;)

Sense said...

chica: lol... thanks! fish is also construed as 'meat'. so yeah... you wouldn't fall under the vegetarian category

Lekhni: yeah... when asked when they passed out, they'd probably say 'every friday'.

iyer: I am just a mere student in the 'useen university'* that is iyer education
*Ref: Terry Pratchette

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely on the mark with this post.

Here in the US I find that I am always corrected by people about the way I say things. And then I have to remind them that my english comes from a British background. And the British invented the language. So there is a larger probability of me being correct.

Oh well !! If only the world was not so US-centric for all USOnians


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Vivek Malewar said...

This is really interesting !!

I knew about pre-pone and and batchmates not being English words, what I didn't know was that they're desi :)

But, think about this - how many words (or phrases) has the US of A screwed ? A place where bill is paper money, cheque is the invoice (not to forget that cheque is check). A place where you fill 'gas' in a 'convertible' and ride 'few blocks away'. It's such a big headache trying to fit yourself to Amr. English

La vida Loca said...

I suppose we could go on and on about the language and never finish

Sense said...

Arzan: :) I have found that teh english are sticklers for grammar and punctuation - no excuses for goofing that up!

Vivek: Lol... and imagine- there's no ground floor! so I'd have a lawn on the first floor...

Loca: yeah, but its such fun!

La vida Loca said...

knock knock?
wake up girl! :)