Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sharks, little fish and an Anglophile

This really hurts. It really really hurts.

Not only does "a certain media group" dump upon a good blogger, they do it with a legal notice that has umpteen grammatical errors.

I shan't get into the ethics of the matter. That part is clear to any right-minded person.

Or the practicalities. A colleague of mine got into very messy divorce proceedings and was totally sodomised by the fact that his father-in-law filed cases against him in 14 (FOURTEEN!) different towns all over North India. He eventually won - he wooed his wife back!
That bit about "a certain big shot" with "a certain media group" filing a case in Shillong against a Delhi resident sends a shiver of recognition down my spine. I know, because I have been summoned to Chandigarh as a witness in a no-hoper election petition.
I live in Calcutta (and I don't know where Kolkata is. Or Kawlkata, as every confused TV anchor insists on calling it.)

Now about the grammatical stuff. The "certain media group" has enormous resources. In fact, the "certain blogger" roused their ire when he spoofed a meeting that purportedly discussed raising revenue by selling editorial space.
With so much money at their disposal, why could the group not hire a lawyer or legal firm who take pains to write correct English?! This is a media group, mind you. Publishing in English. And they vent their spleen in the legal equivalent of pidgin? O Tempora, O Mores!

I am an Anglophile. Quite unashamedly so. My reasoning, however, extends to other languages. If you want to use the language, use it correctly. Example - Amitabh Bacchan (rather than Atal Behari) speaking in Allahabadi Hindi. Wonderful, sonorous, mellifluent, because he does not use a single word of that most mellifluous language, Urdu.
On the same lines, if you can't pronounce my city's name - it's Kole-kah-thah, the last "th" as in "thought" - say "Calcutta". For my generation, it's still Cal, not Kol.

Some aspects of my
jihad . ..

"Enclosed herewith". Why? WHY, after I cut it out in THICK RED ink, must my colleagues put up letters with this phrase? Tautology. Not that I'd use the word in office, because "repetition" would suffice. More on this later.

"Comprises of". "Comprise" and "comprises" are transitive verbs, hence no "of" (in this context, ***k "of"!). My thanks to my racey friend, who looked up the OED and informed me that "comprises" may be used with an "of" after it; the other forms of the verb may not be so used.

And "whoM". Get this clear ... "whoMMMMMMMMM" did you hear it from? "WhoMMMMMM" are you going to meet?
Try John Donne in Ameri-bloody-can ... "For WHO the bell tolls"? I DON'T think.
I was very disappointed to find a "who" on Jai Arjun's blog. Perhaps it was a typo ...

And what is wrong with short sentences? I'm not a huge fan of Papa's, but rather Hemingway than Henry James. (Was it Eliot who defined a monologue as "a dialogue with Henry James"? Enlightenment sought here.)

And yes, PARAGRAPHS! Break it up, there's only one Wodehouse born every 200 years!

So ... The team comprises four members, to whom you should send the cheques. The addresses are enclosed.

Here endeth ...


neha said...

*all the monsters are coming back*!
(TPratchett indeed)

And now, I'm shit scared of you reading my blog. My semi-literate blog, and its frequent lapses into pigdin. Forgive, forgive!

Anonymous said...

And which monsters would these be?


neha said...

Ones with blue toenails.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Now WHERE have I seen blue toenails recently?
*rubs nose thoughtfully and gingerly lifts the coverlet to peer under the bed*


Ph said...

Now I am hesitant to leave a comment here. Bad enough you correct my emails, posts ...now comments too. Argh. I share your fear Neha.

Radha said...

stumbled upon this blog/ger.
laeek eet.
like finicky, nit-picky-about-who/whom-english-bangali-fish-buying type.
chaliye jao chaliye jao.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence, Radha, but I must say your Bangali accent could be improved!


Joyee said...

ROFL! Or aren't such acronyms allowed here? Brilliant pinickity post! And extra kudos for the 'kawl-kata' bit :-)
BTW, in answer to your question elsewhere, this is precisely why I don't have a blog myself :-)