Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things people say...

Intelligent words from Job 38:2
Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?

It is difficult to teach people how to talk. They talk, and without any considerable idea of a good conversation or remark. I must not forget to add their impeccable taste of English as a language and its rape on a massive level, especially by We, the people from India. We hail MS Word as the bible for spellings and presume words to be present in the Oxford Dictionary based on the Gates' creation. But then, the supreme lexicon is quite disappointing for its induction of words like lungi. It is difficult to stop people from using bad language or worse, being unapologetic about their sins. Yes, it is a sin to insult a language, be it English, Hindi, Urdu or French. When a fellow blogger decided to pen a new blog [even she won't know the number of (useless) blogs she has on the Net], I could only feel sorry for my mother tongue. But this is about Ingliss, which is a very phunny languazze. I do not feel offended or perplexed (or baffled) by the accent, unintentionally incorrect pronunciation; I do however feel like slapping the other person for horrendously putting a noose around the words and swinging them as if they were suicidal barbie dolls. Ok, bad example... but a pertinent one considering the imbeciles behaving around.

1. I am freezing my ass off: How do you do that? Somebody has to unravel this mystery for me. Any human being, in the physical universe we all exist in, is covered from head to toe and the first place he/she would feel cold are feet, nose, ears, cheeks, eyes, palms and more specifically fingers. Then of all the anatomical entities, why the bloody ass? More importantly, how does one freeze a body part that once - in infancy - had the most sensitive skin but is now covered in at least two layers of fabric on an average day. It is just plain stupid.

2. I am shitting bricks: Ahaan! What in the hell did you have for a meal and exactly how would you do that? Why could you just not say that you are scared/petrified/intimidated (each of which, in the broader sense, though mean the same, their contextual usage and specific meaning differs largely)? Another one of those phenomenons that are difficult to be described. Quite frankly, I do not intend to unravel this one!

3. Whatever!: Notice how the first three points of this post are all massively (ab)used by women at large. The last woman in my life had me literally tearing my nerves because of this one word. You can not imagine the damage this one incurs. It is a force unleashed on the male of the species from which they have no escape apart from an exile to the Congo forest or a desert.
EG: Man: Are you angry with me?
Woman: Whatever (You are doomed motherfucker!)

This is the tip of the iceberg - the floating mass of ice that is so deep that by the time a MAN has been down under, he is already a mummy. Try and tell (do NOT attempt to correct) a woman her mistake, and no matter how much she is in the wrong, the monosyllabic reply would be staring you right in the face. Women have to accept certain things:
A) They were not born the fair sex.
B) They were definitely not born intelligent.
C) They were the ones born with a stone/cold heart. God just gave them the bounty called tears and the wonderful gift - the art of acting.
D) They were never born articulate. They tend to learn this at a very later stage and even if they do, the usage is not without prejudice, bias and bitchiness.
There is a girl on my course. She has been a journalist, but then a lot of us have been. Her language is wonderfully amateurish, thought process immensely screwed, articulation at an all time perigee (and she does not intend to improve it; instead, like most Indians, prefers to be an ostrich and use the word in conversation right now) and ignorance is her forte. Her mythology is mixed up with mehndi, she is far removed from anything Indian and I hate it when she tries to impress people with her (disastrous) knowledge of our homeland... but, without a doubt, her irritational quotient (IQ) is a massive 2000 because of her usage of the word WHATEVER! Seriously women, please wake up. This is the only word apart from FUCK that can be used in every form of grammar known to mankind. (There are few women who are never going to be in conversation with this kind of a post because I would want to live. tee hee)

4. That's so sweet/He or she is a sweetheart: Oh for god's sake! I'll choke if I hear one of those sugary platitudes. This is what my mind says every time I hear these words. Earlier, I used to have a problem with humans not being expressive; and I still have the same problem. They just do not know when and how to express. Words like "Whatever", "Sweet", "Cute", "Awww", "Fuck", "Nice" and "Interesting" are the best substitutes for anything. If a person is sweet, I can see that as much as the one uttering the words. Then why the time-wasting exercise of highlighting that fact. For those who can see, will see, and those who can not, will never see. So spare me the incessantly excessive usage of these words.

5. It's interesting: Obviously, because:
a) You were unable to understand the thing at all, in which case, you should be honest that you do not know how to give the feedback.
b) You really do not know anything about expressing, which can be forgiven... but only till a point.
c) You are trying to be nice and sweet, which is again alright and can be understood. It is difficult being honest; might just unintentionally hurt someone. So use this phrase.
d) You are so stupid that this is the only feedback you have ever picked up from the television or films. You are so lame that argument and articulation were far removed from your intelligence. In this case, I would love to slap you hard and kick you out.
This is one of the most commonly heard phrases. People use it at the drop of a hat. And one can so easily make out the buffoon from the bored. The ones whose eyes roll as if they were high on a hallucinatory drug or the ones who go hmmmm, ummm, you know, ummm, but you know. Fuck you man, go take a lesson in appraisals or just go take any intelligence lessons. The ones who have a reason to use this phrase will not add words to substantiate their two-word feedback; they will genuinely have a conclusive remark or an observation that would have struck a chord or triggered a thought. Again, over here you can make out the idiots/fakers from the perceptive.

6. It's nice: Read point 5 and substitute "It's interesting" with this.

7. I partly agree with you: Ok. Exactly, which part would that be? Nine out of 10 people will never have the answer to this one. The majority is the one that never looks directly into your eyes or if they do, that is to show they are sleeping with their eyes open. It is the most common escape from any discussion. Normally, it moves in sync with the two points mentioned just above and often it ends with the sentence - But then, to each his own. Everyone has their own opinion. - which quite often displays their irritability quotient (IQ) blatantly.

8. Excessive usage of more words to highlight intelligence:
"In my humble and conscientious expression of aroused feelings of appreciation towards the Herculean effort of the central character, whose lionhearted attempt of depicting the horrifying tragedy of the weakened spirit sets a precedence, it is worth applauding that such a brave heart exists amongst all of us." WHAT THE FUCK? And this was a simplified expression that I just made up as an example of the horrors of modern language. George Orwell has written a brilliant piece on the Politics of language called English. You can read it here. Why can we not say things without complicating them beyond the sphere of a man's intelligence? I do not know who deduced that a human uses only 8% of his brain because these farts wreck their brain nerves in order to say such idiotic sentences. Why say "to put up with" when you can say tolerate? Why show someone that you have read the thesaurus while others were living their life? But the most irritable are those who use words (and the heavy ones) without a thought. They are the worst. The other day, I remembered how Ashok Sinha from my journalism school once remarked "The course got bifurcated into two in the year 2003."

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words, he understands hard things
Herman Melville

9. Different-Different/Small-Small/Big-Big:
Just how can one be so stupid to translate words from Hindi to English in this daft manner? This is the most common mistake committed by people from the sub-continent. When something is different, it is different; why add a duplicate with a hyphen? There is no point. The other day I heard someone remarking "You know, these are the small-small things I do not like." What nonsense! Just because you say the Hindi equivalent twice does not mean you could do the same in English. The girl I was referring to earlier makes these mistakes so often that I do not even feel like talking to her in Queen's language at all. "There were different-different colours"; if no two colours are similar, it is obvious each one of them is different from the other, so logically this is not a good usage. It is in fact pathetic.

10. Contextually incorrect words:
By far, the most annoying aspect of incorrect usage of English language. We tend to use contradicting words/phrases just because their broader sense is remotely related. Alliteration aside, I am hinting at two things:
a) Using a word on the basis of just reading it in a thesaurus without thinking what it actually implies.
b) Joining two words that look connected but are disjoint in reality and, well, worse than an oxymoron combination.

For instance, I used the example of scared/intimidated/petrified earlier to highlight this point as a teaser. Petrified means scared, yes; but, it does not imply you can use this to show you were scared. The word describes the emotion of turning numb or into a stone because of fear. It can not be used when you slipped on a staircase and were scared as to what happened. Someone I know used this word in the exact manner described.
Another example. A self-proclaimed intelligent man in his article "Musical Mountain" (God, what an abominable alliteration and horrible adjective) misuses a word in one of the concluding paragraphs. The sentence reads - If you are the hyperactive sort, there is plenty of hiking, rock climbing and rappelling to be done. Somebody has to tell him the meaning of the word "hyperactive".
But would he listen, I doubt it! He is now the features editor of an intelligent magazine that has no sense whatsoever, but it is popular and COOL - another one of those things people say!

Calvin: Sometimes when I'm talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice.