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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Observations about English.

Observations about English.
Nothing to beat the leave letters in my office
"As I am the only husband [probably among many ] to take care of my sick wife I ask you only to ensure help my wife become normal then only I can be able to come to office. You only know about my wife condition already”
Well coming back to English as a language, by absorbing, assimilating and adopting words and expressions plundered from other languages and wonderfully injecting them not only in its literary forms but also in the layman’s lexicon has evolved as a preferred and user friendly language and in this lies the strength and secret of the growth of the English language. In addition to the number of users of a language, its geographical spread, the wide range and variegated vocabulary to communicate and express as many ideas or events as possible in as many fields of human activity; it has syntactic plasticity, flamboyant flexibility suited to both simple and complex modes of expression, and an enormously evolved derivational morphology and because of all these it stands as the unrivaled champion as a global language but having said this
1] Inherently it has lot of weaknesses like many other languages but at the same time it is a user friendly language but not a very good language in the sense, easy to use and you can express anything and because of its enormous utilization even the most nonsensical communications are accepted, understood and often in many contexts it is like your AKBAR BIRBAL STORY. In most contexts it is an exclusive privilege of mutual understanding between the communicator and listener. Like I saw in Bihar bachelor lodges with boards 'sleeping alone only lodge' means I hope you understand.
2] Many of the problems are created due to mistakes in syntax either wantonly or unknowingly like in the following context, a person who has a father in law who has the habit of changing his residence very often, instead of asking him where is your father in law's latest residence you ask him 'where is your latest father in law's residence'.
3] Like in many languages English too has some totally illogical usages which are the inevitable parts of speech like prepositions and further complicated by wrong use of them like what are the animals that eat and drink with their tail. All the animals that have a tail, for, they do not remove their tail when they eat or drink.
4] Many problems arise in English also due to its incoherent role like a person wanting to both bowl and keep the wickets. While it is used universally it has originated basically from a place which had a very secluded and sectarian culture and only later on in its evolutions it has grown by adopting and assimilating expressions and words left right and center from where ever it has penetrated. So like an international whore it has and can communicate a bit about every culture but cannot be expected to have in depth knowledge and detail about any culture.
5] Its growth and spread has been only in the past few hundred years because the native speakers of this language ruled most parts of the world in the past few hundred years and since they were incapable of learning the local languages they forced their language, i.e. English on other people and subsequently their illegitimate off spring the Americans who subsequently dominated trade, technology and commerce enabled and enhanced its spread further.
6] It is surprising that it is one among the very few languages that does not have a verb for birth. You cannot say X or Y pirandhan as we do in Tamil or Il naƮt as in French you need an auxiliary as X or Y was born.
7] It is the least suitable language for explaining many of the oriental cultures, ways of life , philosophies, spiritual experiences etc
8] Its growth in terms of its social acceptance and surge as the most widely spoken language has been not due to the splendor or superiority of any linguistic or cultural aspect but because of extraneous factors mentioned earlier like political power, commerce and trade in the last few hundred years.
9] It is the best language suited for diplomatic wheedling and intentional ambiguous statements.
10] Its idiomatic side is again very interesting and funny. If I were asked to complete a half completed idiom as 'those living in glass houses must not_______________[ complete] I would spontaneously write it as ' walk naked'
Since you had put an upper cap let me conclude. You may refer to my article in my blog for further journey into English

Using 'ONLY' in the same sentence at 8 different places makes the difference every time.
1. ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)
2. I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)
3. I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)
4. I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye.)
5. I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs.)
6. I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn't have another eye.)
7. I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today.)
8. I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today.)

How strange our english language is....................!

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