â€œHow could you dish out the dirt about a language that is full of beans? You must be as nutty as a fruit-cake,â€ I protested. It was a retort to my friendâ€™s charge that the English language betrays the English peopleâ€™s fixation on food. Yet, once I regained my cool I chewed over my friendâ€™s theory and did a bit of digging, for, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Whereas two centuries British rule in India has left the legacy of English language, Indians on their own, enriched the language with innovative usages. â€˜Preponeâ€™ is a typical Indianism which means to advance or bring (an event) to an earlier date. â€˜Your good name pleaseâ€™ is not a usage in standard English but a translation of â€˜Aap ka shubh naamâ€™. Similarly Airlifted, pin-drop-silence, â€˜I am loving itâ€™ (of Macdonald fame) are but few examples.
While in medical school we have had our share of fun at the teachers’ expense. However one of them comes to my mind very often. This professor was called as Dr. Basappa. Behind his back we used to call him Oxford Basappa! English is a funny language and this guy took it to a new level.
Some of his goof-ups include:
1. One of our friends was creating a racket in one of the backbenches. The professor told him to get up and follow him out of the class. He left the student there in the corridor and told him “don’t follow me!” In other words he did not know how to tell get out!!
2. On another occasion he told one of the students to open one of the windows so that the atmosphere can come in!!