Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What thou speaketh is English?

Haven't you faced situations in life where you wished you could have rolled on the floor with laughter,but since the butt of the joke is usually somebody much superior to you in the heirarchy,you have had to submerge those giggles and at the same time prevent your face from turning pink in the effort.

I remember an incident way back in the first year of my engineering days.All of us were attending our first class in the mechanical workshop. Everybody looked curiously at all the gigantic machines around us and for people like me who happen to be both vertically and horizontally challenged,it was only natural to let out a silent prayer to Lord Vignesha, hoping that these metallic giants would cooperate with me when I need them to.

Having sensed our uneasiness in the presence of machines equalling twice our height,the tutor,with an air of superiority,cleared his throat and began with the rules and regulations to be followed in the lab. "First and foremost,if you ignore the machine,don't work the machine"..

All of us quirked our eyebrows..what was that? Somebody dared to ask.."Sir...?Excuse me..but..could you repeat what you said?"..By then everybody had a smile on their faces..growing at an amazing rate to an endless laughter against which our bodies were fighting a battle in vain. But nobody dared to laugh...except this single guy,oops,and he was sent out :-)
At times people speak English in the most idiotic way ,seemingly non-idiotic to them that we are at a loss to decide whether to laugh or act as though you didn't notice anything wrong! You get the message clear and loud,so does everybody....but... :-D
Reminds me of this bird watcher friend of my brother,with whom he had frequent and interesting correspondences. His clumsy broken English sentences even managed to be humour laden.And the best part of it was,being a nature-lover that he is, nobody got suprised when he signed off as "Yours naturally,XYZ" :-D
And as a foot note,in case you thought such incidents occured due to the lack of education.. look at how education ruined this sweet 6 yr old girl in my neighbourhood. What she said about her pregnant mom one day sent both my mom and me laughing to death that the little girl was almost close to tears for having been teased! "Mommy said,its a bull in her tummy..." chirped the innocent girl. My mom and me gave each other quizzical looks.I pressed on.."Bull? She told you that? But how can a bull get inside your mom's tummy?" She couldn't understand what was it in her statement that I didn't follow.So with great deal of patience she explained.."Seeeee....mommy's tummy is big na? she told me..its a bull inside her tummy....u know..bull...bulllllllll.....not cowwwwwww....." Any comments ;-)


sandeep said...

Reminds me of our mech prof.. Oxford Ayyappan.. (called like that coz of obvious reasons)

Some (in)famous sayings from him.
(Most of them are old (P)Js.. But seniors say all these started from him.. donno)

One guy approaches him for improving the sessional marks.
OA: Once put is put.. no more puts..

OA: Its too hot here.. Open the windows.. Let the air force come in.

List continues..

Rat said...

OA's wife delivered. OA is the happy.
OA addresses the class.
My wife is born. (ente faarya prasavichu)
The boy is a girl. (kutti pennaa)
I'm the 2nd father. (njaan randaamathum achanaayi)

Another day in class..
This kid comes late to OA's class.
kid: Sir, may i come in
OA: (steps out of the class, points to the class room and says) GET OUT

Obviously, "kerikkolu" ennathinte English pullikkaaranu ariyilla..

Thalkaalam ithrem mathi. Over aakkunnilla.. Over Over..

Sreeram said...

One more interesting one Soorya. To add to sandeep's comment,the full dlg, as I know it, was - "Open the doors of the windows, let the air force come in." :P

And, a friend of mine, (here in US), spurted out this following statement when another guy was abt to serve during one of our volley-ball sessions: "Dont serve when there is wind in the air". I've heard this first-hand!!!

I must say that this IS due to lack of PROPER English education. According to me, proper education of a langauge must emphasize the "spoken" aspect of it as well. Its just a matter of practice.

A main bottle-neck to the development of spoken english, in many institutions (atleast in Kerala) is "stage-fright" and "peer-kaliyakkal"!! Want to write more in this regard, but gotta go now... later...