Hi all! How was Uttarayan? The aftereffects are still there, I guess. I love the way all the festivals are celebrated in Gujarat, with such infectious gusto (enthusiasm). The skies are full of colourful kites and the sweet shops a maze (confusion) of endless queues. The only thing that dents (damage) the celebrations is the way little children run on the roads to catch kites, completely careless of the danger they pose to themselves and to motorists.
Up until now, we have learnt a lot together. Today I would like to take up ‘words’ and ‘expressions’ that we must stay away from while speaking and, especially, while writing.
Biased Language: We must be careful not to use a language that would show a bias towards — gender, community, country or region. Remember ‘gender’ jokes are no longer the ‘in thing’. In fact, if anything, they are passé (out of fashion).
Incorrect: Man is the most developed of mammals. (Please!)
Correct: Humans are the most developed of mammals.
Note: Terms like poet, actor, and lawyer are now used for both men and women. You must not say poetess, actress or woman lawyer. Similarly, professional titles like ‘salesman’ have been replaced by ‘salesperson’.
Jargons: Jargons are technical terms. Jargons are fine as long as you’re communicating with people of the same fraternity (group). Otherwise, they can be very confusing.
• How will a non-medico understand this sentence?
Example: You require two sutures.
‘Suture’ here means ‘a stitch’. Since it is a medico term, a non-medico will not follow and perhaps get a fright as to what is going to happen to him or her.
Note: You maybe very good at your work, but when communicating with people outside your area of expertise, you’ve got to climb down to their level of understanding.
Inflated Language: Inflated Language is the language which is bombastic (pompous, self important) and tries to create a picture of ‘great prominence (importance)’. Words like terrific, wonderful, marvelous, excellent, amazing, fantastic, great, humungous and fantabulous are used so very often and without necessity that they have practically become meaningless. Please avoid them or at least do not use them just for the heck of it. Such words are also known as ‘whoopee words’.
Euphemisms: These are words that are used to evade unpleasant statements. They can also be called ‘positive words’. However, their usage can create confusion.
1. I want to powder my nose.
2. My old neighbour is sleeping with the fishes.
The first expression means ‘I want to go to the toilet.’
The second expression means ‘the old man is dead’.
These expressions can very confusing and may lead to hilarious situations.
Clichés: Overused phrases are known as clichés. They are so commonly and often used that they appear decayed (old). Replace them with innovative ideas and new words.
Example: raining cats and dogs, sweet as sugar, dirt cheap, fly-by-night…
Right then, shall I wind up for the day? (end)
• Read an article from Ahmedabad Mirror and write to me whether you liked it or not, and why?
Au revoir…(bye in French)