- Blog By
Ms. Sumita Sen Mazumdar
Editor – Content & Academic Coordinator – KG
The Indian Public School
February 19, 2021 | In Blog
For non-native English speakers in the Indian subcontinent there’s strong temptation to give in to regional speech corruption like the phrases in the title. One imagines the thought process preceding such utterances to be:
“It sounds like English, it’s spelt in English, there’s something that looks like a verb or maybe a preposition too. Other people seem to be using it the same way. So, that must mean it’s alright.”
Thomas Gray’s famous quote, “Ignorance is bliss” together with Newton’s first law about inertia being a condition in which objects remain in their state at rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force is a possible explanation of how ignorance & inertia disturbingly perpetuate language transgressions with the zeal of a nasty virus.
So, why isn’t it noted with thanks then?
Well, for starters, people note things with a pen or pencil and now in contemporary times, maybe with their smartphone, all of which are tangible nouns, by the way. There’s no logical way to note anything with ‘thanks,’ an intangible noun here. You could safely say, “Noted. Thank you.” This is an accepted and polite acknowledgment anywhere in the world. You could even say, “Thank you for letting me know.”
Don’t worry, you can’t possibly ‘mistake me!’
“Please don’t misunderstand me” is correct if you’re trying to make sure someone hasn’t interpreted what you’ve communicated to them the wrong way. You could, however, easily mistake me for my sister because we look alike!
That is too good (to be true)!
Another favourite misuse is saying, “The movie is too good,” instead of “The movie is very good.” ‘Too good’ has a negative connotation and actually means the opposite. It also has to be followed by a ‘to’ somewhere in the sentence for making sense!
If they ‘said you’ to ‘suggest me to sing instead of talking’ it’s probably because they ‘doesn’t know’ any better.
Wrong on triple counts as you’ve probably reasoned out already. Nevertheless, here’s what it would look like grammatically correct, “If they told you to suggest that I sing instead of talking it’s probably because they don’t know any better.” To an unkind observer who knows the difference, it’s a good laugh at the expense of the obviously clueless speaker or writer who doesn’t understand the comical communication they just served up on a plate with the botched grammar. What about the speaker or writer? Is the excuse that this isn’t their native language a reasonable justification?
Interestingly, a basic principle in law is the Latin maxim, “ignorantia legis neminem excusat” or “ignorance of law excuses no one.” Perhaps, we can draw a similar analogy in communication that ignorance isn’t an acceptable excuse. The onus is on us to speak and write making perfect sense.
So, if you’re a grammar perpetrator it’s probably time to take necessary correctional procedures!
Also read TEACH THE TEACHER – THE IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH & SOFT SKILLS TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS IN INDIA.