Friday, January 15, 2010

I Would Be Going To Listen To The Saxophone In The Park

Rant

It's been an age since I cribbed about the abuse of English. Maybe I'm an older, kinder, wiser, more forgiving man now. More likely I'm just a lazy bastard. To compensate for this horrifying neglect of language rants, I present the misuse of the word "would" as the #1 candidate for Most Misused Word in Indlish.

The thing is, "would" can be used correctly in many contexts. As far as I can tell, there is only one egregious goof; unfortunately it has permeated the qaayanaat, somewhat in the manner that the arterial blood of the next person who, in my presence, screws up "would" would permeate his/her clothes.

There, I've done it. Alea iacta est. Using "would" to talk about things that WILL happen in the future, ay there's the rub. "I would be coming to your house tomorrow." And I WILL detach your goolies from you and play ping pong with them. [I'm not sure what goolies are, don't ask. Everyone has them. They're inside you. And getting them out involves the supreme pleasure of punching through your flesh with my talons and ripping them out, as you would look on, somewhat surprised and puzzled. This is all before the excruciating pain starts, of course.]

This Darth Vader of "woulds" shows up in all kinds of places, I can't pinpoint the rule which makes it incorrect, but I'm pretty damn sure that it's wrong when I hear/read it. Apparently, lesser minds than mine have given some thought to this. The British Council, for example. Englishpage.com has an excellent matrix where they nicely docket "would" and "wouldn't" into pockets.

[The #2 candidate for godawful desi officialese is "revert". But for that rant you'll have to wait for me to revert back to you.]

Saxophone in the Park

It is kind of nice that on a cool-ish January evening, I can walk out of my house, past several T-junction pillayars, to a park, buy a plate of porotta with pepper chicken, and listen to the dolorous notes of a saxophone singing Carnatic. Thanks, Chennai Sangamam.

Of course, lots of kacheri type fraud taaLam putting maamas and maamis were frowning away at all the decadent non-veg eating happening till their brows seemed to be frozen in that knotted fashion, but who cares? It was hard to decide whether the pepper chicken was more satisfactory, or the sax. I do wish they allowed some Mallu joint to put up a beef fry stall, that would be delicious in all respects! Through all this, some of the evening-park-circumambulating maamas continued the good work, and could be seen rotating around the whole scene like so many planetoids.

Candy floss for dessert!

French Puppets

This Sangamam thing just gets better and better. Today they had French "puppets". 8 giant (30 ft.+) giraffes, made of some silken fabric thing, manipulated from below by 2 fellows each, a woman all tarted up and singing arias while lashing out with a whip at a hapless and yet simultaneously scary clown! All this on a street named Venkatnarayana Rd.!! They paraded down the street, went into a park, did some time pass there (fiery hoops were involved) and then finally played 'Mustafa Mustafa' and the giraffes and the gathered throng danced together, while the clown and the woman rode their respective giraffes. Surreal, and smashing! Chennai Sangamam rocks!! Photos in the papers tomorrow, hopefully.

7 comments:

Radhika said...

I would like to offer my devotion and agreement.

kbpm said...

i passed by said sangamam several times thinking 'i would go there tomorrow'

goolies are balls. i dont have them, thankfully. sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot hurt me. i mean, they would, if they could, i suppose.

lathish said...

Have you overlooked the curious case of the dog that barks 'apparently & essentially' at all times?

King Julian said...

Waiting for you to "revert back" with the post on revert - God, that really jars my ears :)

Pipa said...

Reading about the happenings on V'narayana road brought immense joy.....

Unfortunately no report by The Hindu on the same.

Their photog section is the only one which can do justice to giant puppets .

Ludwig said...

[Radhika] You would, wouldja?!

[kenny] You would, wouldja?

[Lediesmon] Heh. I have indeed overlooked the curious c. of the d.

[KJ] Will revert once you revert on my revert.

[Pipa] Who be you? Stalker!

kbpm said...

this one is still receiving good press, i note. i say you make it password protected or something. and remember to diss stalkers with a bit less gay abandon.