Not sure when did we make the mega shift from ‘good English’ to ‘Indian English’! Yes it is debatable whether a few people who speak the Queen’s English decide on ‘What, is good English’.
However when a school teacher pronounces IRON typically with a great emphasis on R, you cannot but help wonder…was my chemistry teacher wrong? When she said Iron..normally you did not even hear the alphabet R!
Or when a teacher says a ‘catamaran’ is a type of fish do you reconcile to the fact that there is a general deterioration anyway? Or by asking for good English are you being elitist? There is a huge crowd out there which CANNOT (fair enough) which wonders every time -is it ‘Centre’ or is it ‘Center’. Or even whether a bunch of people can sit in a corner of the world and comment on the English in Singapore, Dubai or New Delhi?
Or when you receive an email saying ‘the news broke to me by her proud father’ or when your junior writes ‘spelled’ and when you say ‘spelt’…she says ‘sir when I tried writing spelt..there was a red line sir…so I thought…’
Or when people say it is ok in colloquial language..not in writing. Aw, bull. I rip my daughter apart if she is saying ‘I, Swati and Shweta…’ ..after all English is rarely a polite language..The correct usage being Swati, Shweta and I (no I am not even getting into an argument of I vs. me!)
Or when people say ‘Anyways we will meet on Monday’ or ‘I wish I would have known that’ or …
Have sentence construction and grammar gone into oblivion? Or ‘to understand finance, geography, or economics, English is no longer necessary? Or is it just that there are so many variations of the English language – from the American massacre, the Indian dialects, the Chinese version that the original ‘English’ is no longer recognised. Schools have lost the ability (and the need?) to teach good English. Wren and Martin is a book my daughter has not yet seen in school. My first copy was bought in 5th standard, even today I have a pdf copy of that book.
And at the end of the day – “It is the communication that is important”. Yuck. The worst thing is one of these kids would be editing your piece and calling herself an ‘Editor’.
If you thought only people of the caliber (calibre?) of Kushwant Singh, Kuldip Nayyar, (OMG cannot list more!) deserve to be called an Editor, well we are living in a …. paradise.
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