Prevention is Better than Cure- Mammography

Speak English with Me

Surabhi Pillai

Howdy to all of you, the other day, a lady participant of mine missed her class. The next day, when I asked her for the reason of her absence, she told me in a hushed voice that she had gone for a Mammography (a technique using X-rays to diagnose and locate tumours of the breasts).

“Collectively, US, India and China account for almost one third of the global breast cancer burden. Persistent efforts over last 40 to 50 years in the US have resulted in a large proportion of women presenting in early stages and there has been a consistent decrease in the death rates due to breast cancer, even though the incidence of breast cancer is rising steadily. These statistics from IARC (WHO) reflect the same, and offer a good insight for developing nations like India, as to what can be done. The rate of rise of breast cancer in India (as you will see shortly below), is so rampant, that if we do not act now, we are in for a major shock in the next twenty years. India has a long way to go!”

What I want to tell you people is that do not be embarrassed or shy about undergoing important medical tests, they help save your lives and the lives of those you love. So, stop being prudish (excessively concerned with sexual propriety) and become aware. Awareness is the only way to live a healthy, happy and long life.

Why am I telling you this in the English column? Well, why not? This is a place where we learn to speak English and we also learn to shed our useless inhibition (shyness, self consciousness).

Cool, today, once again, I am taking three queries from the readers:

  1. The first one comes from Kaival. He wants to know the difference between who’s and whose?

Here you are, Kaival:

Whose- Whose is the possessive form of who. It means belonging to whom.


  • Whose cycle is this? (Belongs to whom)
  • She knows the boy whose car met with an accident.
  • Whose picture is this?
  • Whose horse won the race?

Who’s- Who’s is a contraction of either who is or who has. It has no other uses.


  • Who’s coming with me for the party?
  • Who’s going to be around to receive the guests?
  • She met the guy who’s going to marry her friend.
  • Who’s taken my book? (who has)

Just remember, if you cannot substitute the ‘who’s’ in your sentence with either ‘who is’ or ‘who has’, then it is wrong.

Like in this sentence:

  • Who’s car have you borrowed?

Now can you replace the above ‘who’s’ with either ‘who is’ or ‘who has’? Let’s see:

Who is car have you borrowed?

Who has car have you borrowed?

Both the sentences sound absurd (silly) and wrong, don’t they? So, obviously the right word will be ‘whose’.

  1. The second query comes from Amul. Amul wants to know which is the correct pronunciation, American or British?

Amul both the pronunciations are correct. You can choose either of them or a mixture of them, it doesn’t matter. But of course, if you are planning to either go to the US or the UK, then brushing up and only using the pronunciation of the individual countries is going to make your communication easier. In India, any of the pronunciations will work.

  1. Third query comes from Sejal. She wants to know if it is alright for her to speak to her son in English, even if her own English is not that good.

No, Sejal, I don’t think that that’s a good idea, for if your own English is not good, you will end up ruining your son’s English too.


Keep smiling…


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