Thursday, June 02, 2005

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Inspite of what historians might call the British as 'colonists'
who r proud of the axiom "the Sun never sets in the British Empire", I am ever grateful to them for popularizing English in India.
I can’t imagine India sans IT jobs and the much popular BPOs (popular for the wrong reasons though), with Hindi as its lingua franca and still competing with Somalia in terms of itz GDP! Unless US became Hindi friendly and still outsourced jobs to India!
But then I digress too much …

Coming to what exactly I wanted to convey –well itz about the much-loved language –English. (Unless u belong to DMK/ADMK factions!)
We all boast ‘bout (ok not all but at least I do) that we walk, talk and think in English but inspite of our bragging, there are so many phrases and words are not so popular in India but used very frequently in countries where English is a way of life…
Before u can dispose off this write up as something to do with those mails u have received umpteen number of times ‘bout the misuses of English in all the Asia Pacific regions, let me clarify that my intentions are not to compete with that mail. I actually wanted to throw some light on some of the lesser known words/phrases of English not yet heard even in the most Elite circles (whatever that might mean…)

- Wish I could say that “I can fly by the seat of my pants” about blogging.well this phrase actually originated from pilots (the next time u can remember this during severe turbulence) who navigate the airplane during bad weather going by their experience, minus any navigational devices. It is used in the sense “to do a job the best you can by instinct, training, or experience, without outside aid or instruction”
- On open invitation for all –“Come round to my drum” -as it is self-explanatory unless u r confusing drum in the literal sense of the word) means “Come over to my flat/apartment”
- “Mushfake” meaning “designate an object modified from its ordinary function to serve a new function” would be ‘happy’ if it is used more often, so next time u know how to address a hairpin which was used to open a lock.
- Another phrase which has been in existence for more than a century but I have never heard it being used too often is “Katie bar the door” –now don’t mistake it as a command to this vivacious girl, called “Katie”, to close the door because on the contrary it means “Look out here comes trouble”
- An odd word of Yiddish origin “schlep” has never failed to fascinate me esp. because of itz pronunciation (I must remember to blog on words whose pronunciation fascinates me) - well coming to itz usage “schlep down to the shop” as in ‘move laboriously’

Guess thatz all for now, wud b back on air soon with more words n before I go would like to ask this Q –did u know that “kettle” is a slang for watch (as in the noun form of a device to show time)?
English is so complicated and fascinating a language that if it were a man I would have proposed to him :))


Arvind said...

nice little lesson in English. Looking forward for more of these.

Rabin said...

Hey Swathi, thanks for stopping by at my blog. Am bookmarking your blog to read in leisure.

Keep blogging! Cheers..

Rabin said...

Now that I've gone through your blog,i really do like it! I read a book once about the origin of a lot of english words, it seems that the language is a blend of many languages. Was plesantly taken aback to realise that catamaran and mulligatawny are tam words.

Keep blogging!

p.s. Great to see another Groucho Marx fan!!!

Swathi said...

cant promise u ...but will try :)) n thx for the tips on formatting, guess my edited one luks a lille ok.

hey thx for such wonderful appreciation, must say it does wonders when early in the morning I read good things....
Groucho Marx rulez ... rather his words

arvindiyer said...

Great read and very WISELY put up post!!! But still tryin to picture a fruit flyin like a banana..
Wow...may be we could make a short film with this theme!! wat say?
Thanx for droppin in my blog!!! Cya around

Pink said...

Yes, it is a great language indeed, you can really play around with the words huh!

Swathi said...

@AI (not to confuse with Artificial intelligence arvindiyer)
do lemme know when u r done with the short film that goes by this title.

play around with words indeed.

Crouching Tigress said...

Yeah Id rather propose to English anyday as opposed to some sad ass s/w engg. I have some issues with the IT industry ;)! Interesting post!

Senthil said...

Hey, nice stuff you put down there... schlep, especially, would describe how I move through my life... :)

And not all fruit fly like bananas... oranges, especially, would swing a bit , because of the dimples and Bernoulli's theorem... then again, the trajectory would resemble a banana, so you have me there.

zOmBiEe said...

Thank you swathi, glad you loved the poem. to hear, it inspires, come many more wil. Has one already, do read it, and sure comment. Your page needs leisure. I am sure you will hear from me soon.

Swathi said...

Hi crouching tigress
if u eliminate the s/w male population of India (for proposals) i wonder whom u wud b left with.but then i forget that u r in Europe , some ppl have all the luck in the world :)

Swathi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Swathi said...

hi Senthil
am honourned that the desi Dave Barry has visited my humble abode.

Swathi said...

yup i dig poetry in any form and nothing like the dreamy type u write, keep them going on..

Crouching Tigress said...

New post please! New post please!

Swathi said...

hi crouching tigress
thx to u ,i did post a new blog today :)