Friday, August 22, 2003

Oxford Chacha's mast chaap
(The Times of India)

"'Chacha's mast chaap made me very positive about desh as I gave my naam into the videshi nivas'. Cross my heart, that's English as the modern linguistic 'natak' goes, even though it may not be quite the language Shakespeare used and recognised.

The Oxford Dictionary of English's updated 353,000-word listing, published on Thursday incorporates a further 37 Indian imports and a huge number of West Indian pronounciation-blunders into the world's fastest-growing, most widely-spoken tongue.

From today, it's fine for Indians to not know the English equivalent of chit-fund, udyog, murgh, history-sheeter and chawal.

'Hell, why should they,' laughs British Asian linguistics student Ramesh Panwal. 'Don't find out what a chowki is called in English - it is English. Dhoti is English. So is vaid, tal, namak, palak and so on'."