Sunday, February 5th, 2023 11:03:00

High Standard Of Poor English

Updated: April 4, 2015 4:35 pm


WHY is Satiricus a reasonably successful English-language journalist despite his poor English? The answer is simple—Satiricus is a successful English-language journalist not despite but because of his poor English. The English-language journalism in India is perpetually at war with English grammar, and it stands up stoutly against any nefarious effort by grammar to infiltrate our journalese. For instance, Satiricus has read a full-length article on the use or misuse of the article “the”, and another equally learnedly long lament on the use or non-use of the comma. And now comes this Wikipedia assault on “comprised of”. One of its 1,000 active editors by name Bryan Henderson has reportedly made more than 47,000 corrections to the use of “comprised of”. Believe it or not, the fellow is said to have written a 6000-page tome attacking this usage.

Fortunately, we Indian journalists are not deferred by such dastardly doings of verbal villainy. We are above such crass corrections. We don’t care for such nitpicking niceties of grammar, as our biggest daily Expressly show with courage, carrying on with delightful defiance of grammar. In this leading light of the fourth estate of the Indian realm it is almost an article of faith to ignore articles like “the”, to put together singular nouns with plural verbs, to tenaciously using the term “Muslim cleric” despite a cleric being a functionary of a Christian church, and to meticulously mis-spell even simple Sanskrit words and names. To cap it all, when, the other day, a young Jain woman performed the ritual to renounce the world, the headline reported that she had become a “monk”— a male renunciate.

Oh my! Satiricus how feels like applying for a job with this paper. But would he be found eligible? Satiricus doubts. He takes pride in his poor English, but even he might not meet the high standard of poor English of this paper.




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