Thursday, November 29, 2007

A table is a table

Our daily conversation dictionary is ever expanding consuming words from the environment we dwell in and the professions we work in. We start speaking a mixture of language without us even being aware of it.

In our teens, in Hindi we used to refer to a boy as "banda" and girl as "bandi". Initially my parents used to be pretty annoyed hearing it. Though there was nothing wrong in saying it, they did not like mutating the language. As we all absorbed from our surroundings, my parents imbibed some of my vocabulary and now pleasantly refer to a guy as banda.

When I was in college, all the computer jargon were slowly getting into our conversation. In one of the classes , the professor had written a sentence in the blackboard which had the proper name "RAM" (as in Hey Ram!). My friend, Inder who was a computer geek even then could not understand how RAM (Random Access Memory) was constructed into the sentence. Later a friend cleared the confusion saying the word was puzzling as it was in "capslock"!!

Later when Internet invaded India, I got my first VSNL student account and got connected to the world. Most of my friends were living in the same city as me and I had very few cousins/friends with whom I exchanged emails. Slowly the abbreviations and short forms creeped into my emails. It would read something like this
"Dear xyz,
How r u? V r fine. Talk 2 u l8r. "

My mom was terrified that my English is deteriorating and shovelled out the "Wren and Martin English Grammar" to polish my lost language. As she accepted the new generation language, she is having more fun in writing it. In fact, now the emails that I get from her are more abbreviated. She sometimes comes up with her own abbreviations and I rack my brains to make some sense of it . Her email now reads thus
"D J, (Dear Joy)
HRU ? vent 2 CP. will go 2 DH 2mr. Got some nice SKs for u.
(How are you? Went to Connaught Place. Will go to Dilli Haat tomorrow. Got some nice Salwar Kameez for you)
Luv "

If I were to take my high school English test again, I don't think I would be able to pass it now, especially the comprehension section. With all the text messages and SMS, writing English sentences has become more terse and cryptic. Already, I can't understand the text messages or orkut messages written by teens any more. Maybe the blogs might also be written in this new mutated terse English.
S uf nu, I m jst tkful tat blogger has spellchecker 2 karect me
(As of now, I am just thankful that blogger has spellchecker to correct me.)

7 comments:

Thinking aloud said...

well written, joy...tho i could decipher ur mother's e-mail perfectly...its perfect dilli abbreviated :))

and good ol' Wren and martin...they are my old pals...

and the way kids sms without looking at the keypad, oof!!!

so u're mom's in delhi? and sweet little pumpkin has been pretty quiet?

Prats said...

This is really so funny but sadly very true :(
But I can not get half these abbreviations that the youngsters sms ....I'm always asking back what they meant....
and I at first didn't get ur last line....ooopss...
I'd still stick to Wren and Martin...

Joy said...

TA: Yes, I am a southindian,born and brought up in Delhi. My parents came to Delhi when they were very young.

Prats: I agree. The whole sentence is said in 5 letters and we just have to keep guessing!

Thinking aloud said...

that's cool, i've been in delhi too, close to 7 yrs before i came here to singapore

Sumana said...

So Cool of aunty to write in SMS language...

Archana Bahuguna said...

Hey this was really funny Jaya. I specially enjoyed reading aunty's letter :-) he he.

Joy said...

TA: Where in Delhi?

Sumana, Arc : :)