All you guys can cry hoarse and rally for your respective causes like 'terrorists need better weapons'. My latest peeve is against British English, not the Brits mind you…not even Earl Grey Tea.
A conversation I overheard.
Desi guy laying it thick to an American in a very vague accent that is tending towards destruction, ‘Matt, wanna take the lift downstairs?’
Ignorant American shows ignorance, ‘Lift?’
‘Oh, I keep forgetting. Lift is elevator in British English.’
I roll my Indian eyes to the direction of the British Isles. Oh yeah, the British English. A sure way out of these tricky situations. I'm sure Matt ought to be sufficiently awed that Desi is Oxford material. I agree, the Dwyers and the Mountbattens imparted their language some 60-1000 years ago and we follow its nuances to date. But I don’t remember any JK Rowling teaching me in school. Ok, maybe I overreacted. Keep cool and keep overhearing...
Apna desi continues, ‘Where I was ‘borun’, the squirrels had three dark stripes on ‘dear’ back.’
Matt is not only ignorant (regarding squirrel and deer) but is completely confused, ‘Wow! You were a baron? In India?’
‘Oh no! I was not baron, I was borrrn. In India. Birthplace.’
‘Aha! Bon! I see now.’
‘heheh! You see we speak British English.’
And I am the Queen's heir. Bollocks, I say! British English, my left foot! Poor Matt didn’t bother finding out that ‘skweeril’ is actually what he calls ‘skwirl’ and ‘dear’ was not an endearment, but more like ‘their’. Why can’t we Indians take responsibility for our linguistic talents and stop associating ourselves to some higher power (esp. England) just to make some kind of a cool statement? Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and Britney Spears have more in common than we do.
I will learn the way you Americans or you Canadians or you Telugu people pronounce certain words and make it easier for you to talk to me…but I will never give credit to the Angrez for my broken Angrezi! As I say this, I only hope ‘Wren and Martin’ weren’t British.
Oh wait, there is a bigger issue I have with this pesky little island’s English.
I was having a peaceful lunch at Subway with a friend, not British. She and I were having a rather intense discussion of calories in mayonnaise vs. mustard when all of a sudden she started spluttering and choking, emitting bread pieces in projectiles with mayo of undecided calorie content stuck to the aforementioned pieces. She almost had to be wheeled to the emergency room if I hadn’t swallowed my coke in utter fear. I was to find out that the cause of this melodrama was this man standing at the counter completely unperturbed by the happenings, buying a sandwich. ‘I louve Soobwai” he muttered. Not a hunk of any sort, but a guy possessed with more panache than Tom Cruise for turning heads around. He was a stakeholder to the British accent. In countries other than his own, he has it made. If not for his false teeth that kept slipping off or his wrinkles reaching from neck to chest, my friend might have proposed to him before her husband could arrive to the scene.
‘So?’ I asked her.
‘What do you mean ‘so’?! Ohhhhh…it’s so cute... what a Godsend accent.’ She croons, her heart still pounding hard.
I rolled my eyes (actually they had never stopped rolling from that time) and bit into my sandwich and finished hers too. She could care less while straining her ears in hope that the old man would burp in his accent.
Blind people will follow any stupid fad and patronize any stupid accent just coz so many others will die for it! They made Hugh Grant a celebrity for that same reason. If he had a Texan drawl, he’d be the President of the United States. And seriously, what good is that? Whatever people, I am going to start loving Telugu accented Gult English henceforth. I will make it the latest trend. It gives me the goose bumps, makes my heart tingle…Oooh, lala! (French English, you know)
(Quick update: After being holed in the conference room for a half a day with a Telugu colleague, I completely change my mind about propagating Telugu English. I was eating my knuckles till I suddenly comprehended that ‘Jones’ is not a British surname but actually represents ‘zones’(by that time the meeting was over). Yikesu, Shudderru! I'm off to watch 'Mind Your Language.' That Mr. Brown gives me the weakest knees. On top of it, that getting-on-crutches accent! ..British? ...really?)