English as a funny language

#1 Nov 3rd, 2001, 01:38
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  • Midnite Toker is offline
#1
I have never advanced beyond the fifty-word vocabulary in Hindu I acquired about ten years ago. Still, I thought that this branch could be widened in scope to include the uniquely Indian use of English.

It is a constant source of delight and bafflement to me how words can have widely different meanings on the sub-continent from the US or UK. "Stop," for example, is an unequivocal order to me. It means cease, halt entirely. In India, it might be understood to mean, get ready to halt, as those who painted this sign intended to anticipate:
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stop_dead.jpg 
#2 Nov 3rd, 2001, 04:07
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#2
I wish I had a picture of it, but I remember a few years ago in Hampi during Christmas, one of the residents made a huge sign for the holidays. He put a lot of effort into it and made a really good design. Upon the unvailing of it, you could see the look of hurt in his eyes when everyone told him that it was mispelled and wasn't Mary Kristmas, but Merry Christmas.



Since then in differant places I spent the Christmas holiday, it has become a sort of ritual for tourists to mispel all the signs and decorations.

Mike

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