This is the second part of my article on some of the common English language mistakes people make in India. It is not surprising that the Indian English deviates from standard English at some points. All the languages in the world face this phenomenon as people prefer to have their own vernacular versions instead of conforming all the time to the standards of language. Let’s have a look at some more of mistakes in Indian English.
This is perhaps the best example of a word from “Indian English”. In India, it is very commonly used and is understood by every English speaker. However, world at large does not really understand the meaning of this word.
Prepone is used as an antonym of “postpone”. Indians cleverly ask “If something could be postponed; why can’t it be preponed?”. I support the usage of this word because it’s logical and there are situations that this word can easily convey.
Prepone, however, is no longer an invalid word. Owing to its widespread use in India, need for such a word and its being logical; the word has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary.
To say that something was done before a particular amount of time elapsed –the right word is “ago” and not “back”.
Incorrect: I started blogging two years back
Correct: I started blogging two years ago
Although, there is nothing wrong with this phrase but it is now considered obsolete and therefore it has become part of the archaic English. Its use should be avoided.
Well, you just “discuss” something –“discuss about” is wrong because “about” is implicit with the word “discuss”
Incorrect: Lalit, I want to discuss about how to earn money from Internet
Correct: Lalit, I want to discuss how to earn money from Internet
This phrase is also obsolete –although it used to be of significance during British Rule. In pre-Independence India, the East India Company used to post its officers to particular “stations”. When they used to be out from their duty stations –the officers used to be referred to as “out of station”.
Incorrect: The CEO cannot meet you because he is out of station
Correct: The CEO cannot meet you because he is out of town
In India, the meaning of “passing out” is taken as “to graduate” or to complete studies from an institution. However, the real meaning of “pass out” is to lose consciousness. So, we should hope, no one actually passes out upon knowing that s/he has successfully completed studies.
* In the military context, “pass out” is considered as a valid term for completing training. That’s why we get to see passing out parades.
Incorrect: He has recently passed out of college
Correct: He has recently graduated from college
Here, the preposition “for” is unnecessary. You just order something –not order for something.
Incorrect: Let’s order for a pizza
Correct: Let’s order a pizza
First of all, use of the word “kindly” is considered antiquated. You should use “please” instead. The second problem with the phrase is that the word “revert” actually means “going back to an earlier state”. For example, if you press a sponge pillow –it reverts to the original shape when the pressure is removed.
Incorrect: Kindly revert at the earliest
Correct: Please reply as soon as possible
Saying this is entirely wrong (especially if you are going to ask the other person to do more than one thing). “Do one thing” is understood only in India. This phrase is somewhat meaningful if you are going to give exactly one instruction. But that’s rarely the case. Therefore it’s better to avoid using it.
When someone is not paying attention –you tend to say s/he is “acting pricey”. Instead of this you should use “snobbish” or “arrogant”.
Hope this was of some use. Please comment to add more such phrases to this list. I will update the article.