Sue is hosting a blogathon on the correct use of the English language . I have studied in a convent school run by the Carmelite nuns . I was pulled up sharply by Sr Kochu Therese in class VI for using the word "throng" in an essay - she said there was no such word . I can happily say that apart from the rudiments of English grammar the various schools I went to ,did little to teach me the Queen's English .
However , they did impart to me the basics of English as she is spoke - in India ,and which I sharpened and honed over a period of time by extensive reading and writing .
The correct usage of any language comes with reading the language , writing and speaking it and ,in short , practicing it . Therefore it appears to be morally wrong to expect people who have never read literature extensively or written anything beyond a CV , or answered a question paper with answers directly from a tutorial or notes ,to write a sentence using proper syntax or know whether they have split an infinitive or used an adverb incorrectly.
So, there is a certain piquancy when a man applies for leave saying "I am birthed a baby so I am not attending office and craving leave and your blessings " or when someone does a straight translation from Bengali and invites someone to a neighbourhood function saying " We will have a good time , so come spread your legs and enjoy" or the very terse and succinct "Why so such?".And then of course there is the ubiquitous "My sister and me" and I am not even splitting hairs on who combed their hairs .
In school we were taught never to start a sentence with "and" and "because".But I live for when a smart alec says "As because" - it sounds so complete and sums up the situation .
And no I am not tired of these phrases - my inner Wren and Martined being does not want to reach out and slap the offenders into usigng English correctly and no I am not even going into Malapropisms .I may cringe when the going gets very tough and sigh and then enjoy it .
"As because" it is vernacular Indian speaking through the Queen's English , peppering it with quaint phrases , rounding off with the correct sensibility if not the correct language , infusing it with a regional touch , keeping one on one's toes constantly to decipher and decode as to what the actual meaning might be . It is like adding lime, pepper , chopped coriander and yes , even chillies to a prosaic language that we hold on to desperately as the last vestige of the British Raj without appreciating the regional context !