Jun 23, 2009

Parlez-vous anglais?

Hello Everyone,

I have been meaning to blog about this for a long time now. But I always held back because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I have to do it, because since I am not blogging a lot, I read a lot, and sometimes what I read, is well... Let's just say it's difficult to sum up within the boundaries of words.

The following post is meant just for fun. No hard feelings anyone, and please, please correct me if I am wrong. Here it goes:

Blogville is full of talent. Some blogs have changed my life, the way I think, and made me a better person. Personally, I started blogging because I wanted to write, read, and improve my vocabulary and learn new things. I think I have been steadily accomplishing all of that.

I know of people who have studied in vernacular mediums right from their childhoods but they speak very fluent English. I also know of people who have studied in English medium and convent schools right from their childhood but cannot speak and/or write basic English. And these are the people who hate to admit that they make mistakes :P I mean, it's okay if it's a typo. And hey, I make mistakes too! Every one does. But if you correct me, I won't feel belittled by you and would be very happy to admit that I am wrong if you prove me wrong.

[ Psst.. I have a really tough time spelling these 2 words: "achieve" and "maintenance" :P ]

Let me get straight to the point:

- "I didn't knew/went" and "I didn't told/said" is wrong English. It's always "I didn't know/go" and "I didn't say/tell". You cannot use two consecutive words in past tense like that, even if you're talking of things in the past.

- "I said her to do this" is wrong English. "I told her/I asked her to do this" is correct.

- It's not "A Umbrella". It's "An Umbrella". Read this, and you will know what I'm talking about.

- BTW is By The Way. It's not Between. I have seen so many people use this! At one point of time I actually felt that I was wrong. Click here if you want to know more about this and more about these abreviations and what they stand for.

- You never "ride" a car, and never "drive" a plane or bike. You "drive" a car, you "ride" a bike, you "fly" a plane.

There are a few more things like... "Using The Beginning Letter Of Every Word In A Sentence As A Capital Letter". That is okay for titles etc. But actually, to each his own. Some people like it, some don't. Its' personal choice. I really don't know whether it's right or wrong.

Let me stop this list here for now.

Another interesting thing I have observed is that some people with extremely good vocabulary commit these hineous crimes of grammatical errors. The vocabulary v/s grammar match is a very close call, and in my case, a person with a mediocre vocabulary with the right grammar wins anyday over a person with an extra ordinary vocabulary with grammatical errors. I was telling someone the other day, that these grammatical errors just break the beautiful string of words that you build with your vocabulary, from a readers point of view.

I have nothing against anyone whatsoever. But I personally believe that blogging in itself is an experience of growth and expression, and learning is a part of it. 90% of the blogs I read are written by the author keeping their readers in mind. Hardly do I come across bloggers who actually write what they feel, when they feel, how they feel, irrespective of the people who read them. Readership is just a consequence of your writing. Comments are just an added bonus. That doesn't mean I hate comments :P Everyone is welcome to read my blog and put their view forward. Healthy discussions are a part of growth. I am proud to have some of the best readers on my blog, who really read the post completely and comment whole heartedly.

I have to admit that I have been overdosing myself in poetry too. An overdose of Acrostics to be specific. Eversince I started with acrostics, I am finding it difficult to get out of that box. I love the style of poetry, but not so much that I lose my ability to compose normal poetry itself. Speaking of Acrostics, I have to also specify that I have been reading an awfully large number of these poetries in the past week. Seems like I am not the only one going through the Isolated with Acrostics phase, aye! ;) Oh and while I'm at that, I also have to admit that I find poetry with simple words which is straightforward more easy to understand than a string of complicated words which are difficult to understand and perceive in the picture of poetic imagination [Remember? I am learning :P]. And I don't feel any bad while I'm admitting that.

I really don't mean to hurt anyones feelings, directly or indirectly, with this post. But if any of you relates to any of the things I mentioned above, I will take it as a successful expression from my side. And if you feel hurt, I am very very sorry! But I don't think I would take these words back.

To Err.. is just human! No one is perfect :)


Phew, I really need to stop preaching!


Anonymous said...

hahah.. Dear sis!!

I really loved reading this post.. word by word.. :)

Haha.. I have hard time spelling the word 'business and maintenance' too.. i usually spell it as maintainance until i saw it here:P

Thanks dear!

Worthy post and I have Acro fever too:P

Satans Darling™ said...

Princess Nuchu :P

I used to spell it as maintainance too.. Every single time!

And the acrostic fever.. Let's just call it plague :|

Ragpicker said...

Spot on ash ! Such a simple and honest article. It all makes sense - person with a great vocab stack and falling short of grammar always scores less than the person with less vocab stack and proper grammar.

And whats with this acrostic fever ?? :P Cmon ash I like your free flow poetry as they synchronize well with your emotions. Acrostic style somehow binds the poetry into a set of rules ....just a personal opinion ! :)

Fatima said...

That was a very good one. Sums up most of the problems! Have to drop the link *by mistake* on a few people's blogs :P

Keep writing babe ;)

Satans Darling™ said...

Hiya Rag :) well I have not posted poetry for a long time now thanks to the Acrostic fever! I thought I would take a break so I can retain my original style. But all I can read is acrostics these days too :P Spare a couple of people including you and Brosreview.

I HAVE to come up with a normal poem to get myself out of this "shituation" :P

Satans Darling™ said...

I know what you mean Fatima ;) I had to, HAD to cut down on a few things :P

Fatima said...

Love ya babe ;)

Satans Darling™ said...

Love you too! :)

Arv said...

here is another observation...

If its a well written piece that has captured your mind... even those typos or grammar gets automatically corrected by your brain...

Have you noticed that?

its a neat post Ash, nothing wrong in it... :)

Bonsoir Ma Cherie...

Satans Darling™ said...


How about this... If a well written piece that has captured our mind, it's effect gets reduced to its half thanks to those errors :P

That was something I wanted to convey!

Thanks for reading :)

ZiLliOnBiG said...

This is very too much good post. i was not too good in/with(?) prose( whatever that means), however i write so to catch few readership. I will stop riding my car, i will drive instead, from now on.And i too like french. Studied for 3 years, you see.

Hope i didnt make too much mistakes.Thanks anyways.(just fooling around)
Nice post:))))))

ZiLliOnBiG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PULKIT said...

I appreciate the quite honest stand on every point u mentioned... tc god bless! keep writing! will try to implement a lot of preachings given in this article... one of them being, writing one's one self! thats very difficult at times to practice but I am always trying to do so... but a slight impression of past comments and criticism is always there while I pen something new :( I am trying to get rid of it...
that was a very intresting post to read throughout ashrita!

hary!! said...

Hey Ash, i dont think there is anything to feel bad abt, and wud only make readers and writers feel better and realise their mistakes!
I really wud like to thank yu for this, as am really bad at writing(i started to write and read to enhance myself) and wud luv it, if yu cud point out any mistakes in my write!


neeraj_only said...

Down to earth , never thought ashrita will write this . Bows ^o^

i am always scared about spelling mistakes . 'did' helps me when i am confused about use of past tense .

Ya , some bloggers are so good with their english . At the same time some freedom has to be there where one can bend 'the rules '. U know if there can be american / uk english why not indian english . I used to wonder why 'color' (us ) is as correct as ' colour '. Weird world of english ( so much confusion ) .
We should stop referring to oxford english for correct english ( wishful / debatable wish :p)

Satans Darling™ said...

Zillionbig :P

Haha... I hope you were just joking when you wrote that comment :P

Thanks for reading ;)

Satans Darling™ said...

Hey Pulkit,

Why do you should so low? Being yourself is probably the toughest easy thing to do. Don't let yourself be influenced and you should be doing great :)

IcE MaiDeN said...

Such an honest post!!! N nt one mean remark abt anyone who might have made some of the mistakes u pointed out. :) really really nice of u to put this up. :)

One of my readers, pointed out to me that using sms lingo kills the poem that i have written, it was real nice of him to be honest AND polite. Jus crossed my mind while I was reading ur post. Another thing maybe we should keep in mind when we write our post.

Again, nice one. :)


Satans Darling™ said...


Did you call me down to earth for writing this post or for not writing this post all this while :P

There is a very popular saying. In Rome, do as the Romans do. It's very simple. When you speak English, speak it correctly. It does not need many words to be used in it :) Don't most of us have a laugh when someone who is a Firang speaks tooti-phooti hindi with us? We find them naive and cute but it's all funny to us just because they cannot speak it completely. The good thing is, atleast they try :)

Satans Darling™ said...


I am only SO glad to have a reader like you :)

Satans Darling™ said...

Annie, yeah I tried to maintain that I don't offend anyone while writing the post.

You know, sometimes it becomes difficult to correct people especially when they're close to you. They might just think you're boasting about yourself. Some of them might take it to their egos and then things might get bitter. This was the very reason why I was abstaining from posting it.

Nice to see you here back again :)


ZiLliOnBiG said...

no no, me was not joking.i was ass(is one s too many?) serious as Marlon Brando in Godphadher.

But of late what happened is i improved my inglish. Isnt not my english better than a englishman's? ok, at least its better than a Chinese man's...:0

Hopeless Romantic said...

Its really admirable of you to come with such a post, specially when i was contemplating myself to write such a post for a very long time now. All the points are very true, and i have seen this a lot on the blogosphere. Apart from these, there are couple of more things which i would like to add/mention with respect to the post:

(a) The casual attitude of a few people while writing blogs, it exudes the frivolousness with which they sometimes write as if they themselves don't care about what they are writing. It could include using too many slangs, too many SMS lingo or too many technical jargon without knowing your target audience.

(b) The spelling mistakes, if you are not using a spell checker in your posts, it means u really don't care about your writings. It creates a bad impression on your readers and it kills the joy of reading!

Hope i have not made any technical or spelling mistakes in this comment :D


ZiLliOnBiG said...

Hey, jokes apart, i wonder if one should strictly go by the book.

to quote Tagore, "All great languages undergo change. Those languages which resist the spirit of change are doomed and will never produce great harvests of thought and literature. When forms become fixed, the spirit either weakly accepts its imprisonment or rebels. All revolutions consists of the "within" fighting against invasion from "without"... All great human movements are related to some great idea."

Some of the best books, Midnights children, books of James joyce, even dickens had a liberal dose of "vernacular". Ohh, Tony Morrison- Beloved. If White tiger, narrated by an almost illiterate(protagonist) can win Booker, it won for its originality. Sorry for me sounding prechy now.Cheers, nice post

Satans Darling™ said...

Zillionbig, you need to Tap Sum Bong ;)

Satans Darling™ said...


Yeah I totally agree with you about the SMS lingo. It looks okay though, depending on the nature of the post and the author.

Spelling mistakes :| No comments... Well, spell check is a life saver for me when it comes to the words I mentioned above, where I usually have trouble.

Thanks for reading :)

Satans Darling™ said...


I am not against anyone/anything vernacular. It depends on the nature of the work. I have not read any of the books you mentioned, but I am sure that there was a valid reason behind that raw touch.

That was not preachy at all. The post was mainly targetted at people who make mistakes, but are too ignorant to admit them.

mysterious gal said...

i guess i m the worst when it comes to grammar and vocabulary in the whole of the blogvilla:|and such a weird creature i am i tried my best yet i commit those mistakes day in and day out.....My bro, my best friends everyone have given up on me by now....and in blogvilla most of them will give up soon too if not by now :P
Can't help it gusta hi nahi dimag me yeh cheze kya karoo :(...i try not to act careless with my work as i give my best before publishing but still.....my supervisor, my dad have been fed up correcting it par kya karoo :(

but then i dont have qualms admitting it......abb ullu ki doom ho na ...... :-(

Sighs koi mujhe bhi grammer wala and vocab wala brain dede......i know how poisonous it is for someone who writes poems .....but kya kare ?

PULKIT said...

@ ashrita - toughest easy thing to do

thats one paradox :)
I was not sounding low yaar, just a bit down with fever and all may be..thats why!
rest all is kewl :)
thanks for the concers as always yaar :)
tc god bless !! gn!!

Satans Darling™ said...


Why don't you think of writing every sentence as a form of poetry then! You would do great :) I know it's crazy but give it a thought!

Love you babe..

Satans Darling™ said...


Weather is changing buddy, take care of yourself. I just got out of it so I know how irritating it is.

Get well soon!

Aw.S.M said...

Wah wah..someone's held a lot back and is now lettin every1 in on how it should be :P

And u toh know i usually always agree with u so y should now be any different (hope no grammatical errors there :P)

Though it doesnt sicken me..i dont usually correct people on blogger coz they just might not like it..but u went ahead and did it on ur blog..nice nice :)

And obv when u said u have friends who read the whole thing and comment..u meant me :P...hehe..how modest am i ? :D..

Oh and btw(by the way) if u notice any mistakes made my me..do lemme know...i wouldnt mind :P...


Amal Bose said...

such an honest post..
ive seen typos in posts, but was never disturbed or anything but it.
n ya.. most posts are written keeping the readers in mind.. i think i do it a lot..
need to change..

take care :)

PurpleHeart said...

So true. Americans proudly say he/she don't. I have this itching urge to politely tell them "Excuse me, it's actually he/she DOESN't" :)

Kishore Choudhary said...

Your post describes a generalized Standard English, which is the form of speech found in types of public discourse.
English or any other language grammar is a body of rules specifying how phrases and sentences are constructed.
The important thing is if you know the correct and complete grammar of Hindi or any other language than there is no problem to catch English but as you say the first requirement is speak it correctly .
Post is really good and here is a request for you please start a distance education programme for me. Ash , my English is very poor so please avoid my all mistakes.

Satans Darling™ said...


I think your stars were in their best position when you chose a new nickname for you.. Aw.S.M. ;) That's what you are and you're living upto it so well :)

There are no two ways about you and me agreeing on the same point [Taureans, remember :P]

Yeah, I thought I needed to come ahead, mainly because I used to feel obligated and awkward letting these things out in front of friends and acquaintances!

Yes, when I spoke of my readers I had you in mind :) I am so blessed! I have a bunch of readers who are non-biased, practical, modern, knowledgeable, talented and yet so down to Earth that if you point out a mistake, they will happily accept it!

No no, you did not make any mistake :P I love your writing and I love your blog and I have an extra soft corner for those simple and heartfelt poems you write. I don't know about anyone else, but they surely touch my heart every single time. They're easy to relate to :)

Satans Darling™ said...

AB, I am so glad to know that you realize what you're doing and you're looking up to taking measures for correcting them :)

Satans Darling™ said...


Welcome to my Blog :)

Yeah, Americans do use that a lot. But as far as I know, that language is native American too, right?

Satans Darling™ said...


So true, if you know your grammar well in any other language, you can easily adapt to English too. And hey, you don't need a distance learning program in English. Your English comments are better than many others I have seen, in spite of you having a Hindi Blog. I am actually now contemplating taking a distance course from you in Hindi ;)

Anonymous said...

ok here i have to b very carefull. LoLz.. It was an honest post ash ! I especially make tons of mistakes with grammar n spellings.. I double check every time to make sure its correct !
Loved readin it !! :)

Miss Sunshine said...

I know. I get totally bummed. and who knws better than you ;)
and sometimes people ned to read and learn.. which i hope they will :)
I get so itchy and uncomfortable when somebody says something crazily incorrect..i feel like correcting them..but then they take it personally..
phew :P
loved every letter of your post ;)

gargi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gargi said...

LOoveedd IT!!
Very true..i know i make TONS of mistakes..only because im not patient enough to read it twice..(oops =D)... But the fact is that improper grammar ruins a very good post..!
My vocab is less than the basic...but I get kind of irritated when I see people saying "i didn't said". It's like a habit for me to point it out to the person straight away..which btw is also pretty rude on my part =(
And there is another thing that bothers me.... people trying to put on fake accents to make there normal English sound all "stylish"... grr..that reaaalllyyy gets on my nerves!!
I seriously wanted to write something like this post of urs..but then i was scared that i might actually end up hurting someone =(

Anyways..the job is done.. ;)


gargi said...

**their normal English...lol..see ..thats where I loose it...between there and their.. =D =P

Satans Darling™ said...


I agree with you lady! And the accent... I have seen people with fake accents more in India than in US/Canada. People who even live there don't have so much accent.

Accent reminds me of Tamanna from Roadies :P

Satans Darling™ said...

Oh, I had not noticed that mistake :P But you're nice enough to admit and correct it..

Love you babe.. Muahh!

DPhatsez said...

A french title to purport correct English usage :)
Now I've seen it all.

Hope your message is heard.

Satans Darling™ said...

Isn't that the best thing about this post ;) No one pointed that out yet :D

I hope my message is heard too...!

neeraj_only said...

Haanji , Down to earth you are ( no reasons ) in spite of being a 'high flier' ......lolz :p
about firang hindi : they ruled us with that ' hindi ' and taught us their english. Gussa to natural hai "british english se " :p

just see how italian , spanish , french , serbian people speak english . Correct english , isn't it? :)

( debatable hai .....abhi to , let's do what romans are doing :p ...)

Satans Darling™ said...

:O How could I miss you up there Vasudha!

Apologies :( It does not mean I love your writing any less :D

To Err is human afterall ;)

Thanks a ton!

Satans Darling™ said...

And I missed u too Appu :(


Yeah I knew YOU would love this piece if not anyone else! :P

Satans Darling™ said...


English toh English hi hai, chahe British ho ya American ;) Lekin maze ki baat yeh hai ke chahe Britain ho ya America, Rome ho ya India, har jagah yeh bhasha boli jaati hai :) Khaas kar jab aapke "Career" ki baat aati hai. Yeh kehte huye mujhe bada dukh ho raha hai ke aaj agar hum apni matra bhasha ya rashtriya boli main bhi vaarta na kar paayein, lekin hame angrezi zaroor aani chahiye.

Ok enough of Hindi :P

All I wanna say is, it's a matter of choice. If you wanna speak in Hindi or any other language, go ahead. If you like English, suit yourself. But either ways, do it right. If you don't know what are your mistakes, it's another story. If you're aware of your mistakes and open to improvement, that is another story too.

This is for people who make mistakes, and then give excuses and make up reasons for not improving them!

Satans Darling™ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satans Darling™ said...

People.. I HAVE to add one more thing in here

-It's Habit. Not Habbit :|

neeraj_only said...

Oye arhrita!! , angreji important to hai hi . Correct way is right way. Knowing mistakes and correcting them is one of the qualities of humans . No excuse for making same mistake .

It's only we indians debate on anything :p

aise angreji diff to haiji . American jyada accha hai ....ajkal sab ka fav yahi hai .
( bahut commentwazi kar chuke ees topic pe , i invite you for debate on this topic ......someday :) thik ?

neeraj_only said...

bahut din baad phir tera naam galat type kiye

Satans Darling™ said...

Neeraj... Ab bolne ko kya baaki reh gaya hai :D :P Still, I accept your invitation!

Nikhil said...

BTW(between) this was an awesome post!! i had to drive my bike at top speed to come home and read this....i dint knew you were such an amazing writer!! I hope your brain corrects the English of my beautifully written post!!


Satans Darling™ said...

HAHAHAHAH Nik :P You pretty much summed up everything in there! ROFL

aZoed said...

hehehehe! lol [n still lol!]
I'll have to go back to my first post and read through each one of them again to find out if I've actually improved with my blog. It's amazing what silly punctuation / grammatical errors I find in my posts when I proof read them before publishing, yet, only about half of them are dealt with by me. I'd still prefer to label them typos... [ego you know :P]

aZoed said...

P.S. 'Comments are JUST an added bonus' ? Forward some of those to my blog if you ever feel you are getting some undeserved bonus :D

My interesting room mate had an interesting little extension twist to your closing lines... 'No one is perfect. I'm No one!

Satans Darling™ said...


You write well as of now buddy! I love reading your blog... And ahem.. Tell me about the whole ego thing :P I have come across a lot of it including myself at times!

P.S. I will promote your blog a little.. Now that I know the importance of comments to you :D

And Ola to the roomie.. Yes, we all are "No Ones'" :P

Thank you so much!

workhard said...

Hey girl. trying to catch up with whatever i missed... Your posts are really good... Reading this one reminded me of something.. the other day i was chatting with a friend of mine and he was like brb... i swear.. i didnt know what that was...LOL.. im bad at all this.. im bad, really bad at computers... so i asked him directly..BTW.. ur link was pretty helpful for me.. i have to go learn some of those abbreviations... and Thanks hon for putting it up...

ZiLliOnBiG said...

i read this once again, carefully. I had heart in my mouth, i felt you have written this with me (zillionbig) in your mind. I had a sense of being discovered.

This should correct me.Hence forth I shall use all the correct grammar and avoid all typos.