Friday, November 10, 2006

Indlish

Apropos the afore-mentioned title, I beg to inform the esteemed readers that the undersigned was out-of-station, having to undertake a visit to my native place. As your goodselves know, I am having two daughters, one of them elder, the other younger, respectively and I tried my level best to get them to accompany me on this trip, but they would not agree to the same because they had homework, projects and all these small small things that keep troubling little little children. So, I didn’t want to make a big issue of it and decided to go myself along with two of my co-brothers-in-laws. As per me, the train ticket cost very less, but the hotels, my God. Different different things to eat, but we had to spend lots of rupees .Also, I picked up a book called Indlish, at the railway station book shop

‘Indlish’ is a collection of articles written by Jyoti Sanyal, Dean at Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore and first published in the language column of “Imprint”, the Sunday supplement of The Statesman. The author explains how ‘the obscure, verbose, muddled and preachy style of Indian English is partly a legacy of the Raj and the East Indian Company and partly from authors applying the structures of Indian languages to English. This heightens the contrast between the English written in India and what is used in the West, where they favour the active voice, use Latinese words sparingly and shun the noun-heavy style so common among English-language journalists in the country.’

‘Press associations in the USA have laid down a readability table. Their surveys show readers find sentences of 8 words or less very easy to read; 11 words, easy; 14 words, very easy; 17 words ,standard; 21 words fairly difficult and 25 words or more incomprehensible. The linguist, Rudolph Flesch drew up an elaborate test to assess ‘reading ease’ and ‘human interest’ taking into account both sentence and word length :

Take a sample of your writing.
Count the number of sentences.
Count all words with three or more syllables excluding personal pronouns.
Divide the number of long words by the number and sentences, to get the Fog factor
Clear writing has a fog factor of between 2 and 3
Below 2 may be childishly simple
Above 3 may be rather Foggy.’

( Or you can let this program do it for you)

Now, I am knowing why my two daughters, the elder and the younger respectively, call me an old Foggy. I must do something about it from today only.

12 comments:

Usha said...

With reference to your post, the undersigned wished to tell your esteemed self that it is a profound piece, enormously perceptive and indicative of the ground realities in our communications. I am at a loss for words to convey my appreciation of your presentation of the ideas which one scarcely comes across in today's generation.
Wishing you all the very best in our continued efforts in the cause of better wrting skills, sir, I remain yours faithfully....

Raj said...

Usha madam, thank you for the kind sentiments for which I am grateful to your good self.

victor peterson said...
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Margar David Profesore said...

I am having two daughters, one of them elder, the other younger, respectively and I tried my level best to get them to accompany me on this trip,

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