Saturday, September 19, 2009

The sad assault on linguistic senses

"The British left India for they could no longer bear the assault on their language."

Although it's an age old joke; somehow, I find its relevance increasing progressively. The torture of the linguistic sensibility is more rampant. Ravindranath Tyagi, the great satirist and poet, has written at length about the torture brought up on Hindi. In his own style, he elaborated that how a slight misspelling can wreak havoc - सूत्रधार से मूत्रधार, स्तर से स्तन, और रेडियो से रंडियो.

In Gujarat, the story is not much different. In India, the snack parlors are aplenty but in Gujarat, all one can find is 'snake' parlor. In addition, there are no halls here, since all of these are spelled as 'hole'. I even found a coaching institute, apparently named after a planet, for teaching 'good' English. Just that they misspell their institute's name as 'Yuranus' (whatever it says about their learning orientations and methods, spare me the thought). The list is much longer than the bounds of space and time can hold.

However, the germs of linguistic lunacy travel faster than my wildest imagination. Hence, much to my chagrin, I have discovered two 'gems' in Lucknow as well. The city of nawabs, the last shelter of linguistic purity, the home of etiquette and mannerism, the land of gardens and science gave me a big shock with two signboards that read - "The Oaf Public School" and "Hilarious Beauty Parlour".

Et tu, Lucknow? Now where would Caesar fall :??

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