A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

When I try not to judge..

Posted by Pepper on March 1, 2012

A while ago, in one of my posts I had expressed my distaste for Grammatically incorrect English. I would find myself judging writers/authors/bloggers who would write carelessly and shabbily. From then to now, I have come a long way. I judge less. I try hard to restrain my temper and go past the recurring errors . For one, I have realised my own hold of the English language is very mediocre. I cannot judge others when I don’t have a very high standard myself. I break Grammar rules several times. For example, I have often started a sentence with the word “But”.  There are other errors I have noticed in my writing. If I can forgive myself, surely, I should be able to forgive others.

My mom, has an exceptional command over the English language. Her written English especially, is very impressive. I remember her helping me with my school essays. She taught me to write. While I could not reach her level, I did reach a level higher than my classmates. That doesn’t say much, because their level was far too low.

We spoke a hybrid mix of Hindi and English. My mom always urged me to speak coherently in one language, which was really hard to do. While she tolerated me speaking informally, she would not tolerate faulty writing. I was 6 years old when I was given this assignment in class. We had to write 5 lines on ‘My Pencil’. One of the sentences I had written was “My pencil ka point was broken”. Till date, I have not forgotten my mother’s expression. She seemed to be stricken with disgust due to my usage of the word ‘ka’ in a school essay. “Don’t murder the language”, she would often tell me. When we write in English, words like “ka, na, re, yaar, haan, toh and other Hindi words are prohibited.” She would keep asking me to respect the language, and I think I inherited her distaste and aversion towards careless writing.

I realised there were two kinds of people. Ones who genuinely didn’t know the correct usage of English words. They had to fall back on using words from a language they were comfortable in. And then there were ones who just didn’t care enough to speak English the right way. I call them ‘uncaring writers’

I don’t judge people who belong to the first category. Maybe they couldn’t afford studying in a good English school. Maybe their comprehension abilities weren’t sharp enough. Maybe they had a poor grasping power. Maybe the environment they were in was not conducive to learning and speaking English well. There could be so many factors that could have contributed to their inability to speak English correctly. The point is, they try to speak correctly, despite all their limitations. I really appreciate that. Maybe that is why I forgive myself. I know my English is just about average, but I try my best to not write carelessly.

Regarding the second category of people who posses the ability to speak correctly with some effort, but the ones who think it is okay to murder a language, well, I try my best to not judge them. I swear I try. It’s very hard for me to read something that is full of slang expressions. People who annoy me the most ‘r ppl hu tak n type in tat sms lingo’. I get so riled up, I want to slap them. And then there are other people who are writing officially, but their writing is so informal, so adulterated with other languages, that it isn’t even English anymore. It breaks my heart and makes me want to cry. English is such a beautiful language, and see what we are reducing it to? I want to go and tell those people to respect the language, especially if you are writing officially, that it is not okay to kill it, it is not okay to be lazy, it is just not acceptable. I don’t have much respect for a writer who consciously disregards the language protocol. When I see professionals flouting the rules in official mails, it makes me see red.

Unfortunately, there is a large audience out there who can actually relate to this emerging colloquial style of writing. They find it easier to understand that writing, they can associate and connect with it, so that kind of writing is actually appreciated and encouraged. It angers me even more. I worry about the future of the English language in our country. Why, oh why are people writing in a manner than is so appalling? Why do they slaughter English so mercilessly? Why do they think it is okay to do it?

Is there anything I can do about it? No. Should I really be judging them? I guess not. We all have a right to exercise our own beliefs. I can do what I think is right. So I will of course, continue to refrain from using that annoying sms language, I will try to write as correctly as I can. When others choose to murder my beloved language knowingly, I will close my eyes, deep breathe, count one to ten and move on without judging the choice they have made. That is my resolution for the next one month. I hope I succeed. Wish me luck. It’s a big step.

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55 Responses to “When I try not to judge..”

  1. Roxana said

    I know what you mean. I flinch every time I see loose in the place of lose, your in the place of you’re – the list is long (the one that I find most disgusting? Cum in the place of come). Having said that, like you pointed out, I don’t for a moment believe I know the English language well. I only try. My dad is what you say your mom is – he is the person with a great command of the language and he wrote all my school essays and speeches. Till date, every time he hears me use the words basically/ actually/ typically, he flinches because in most cases, the word is being used incorrectly! 🙂
    There was a phase, about ten years ago, when I loved mixing up words. I cringe at the thought now. Using ka and ki in English statements sounded cool back then – thankfully, I got over the phase!
    Now, while I try (really hard) not to judge people over it, I do correct (and get corrected) friends and family when they resort to this easy, pidgin, sms language. Maybe I am overreacting, but a language is just like anything else that needs preservation. We are protecting our monuments, our animals, our diminishing people groups – doesn’t a language call for similar respect and treatment?
    Imagine having your kids growing up, thinking dint is actually how didn’t is to be spelt!

    • Pepper said

      I flinch every time I see certain words being used incorrectly too. It is such a long list. ‘Cum’ really disgusts me too.
      I love being corrected, but I never dare to correct people. I have realised – people do not want to be corrected, because they don’t even believe they are wrong. I tried correcting my friend once, and she got very confrontational. The way they write is intentional. It’s a ‘personal choice’. So I really try hard not to judge. I am still trying.
      I absolutely love your reasoning. We need to preserve languages. Period.

      • Roxana said

        You are right when you say people don’t take too well to being corrected; I try it only with family and friends who know me well (and will happily dismiss me as a little too passionate, if I begin to get on their nerves)! With the others, like you rightly say, it is not my business to point or try and correct what they are saying/ writing.
        On a happier note, I hope Mint is on his way back to meet his angel, already! 🙂

        • Pepper said

          Yes, I do correct my family and close friends too. I know they want to be correct, with the rest, it’s good to back away.
          4 more days to go. I really can’t wait 🙂

  2. R's Mom said

    I fall in the later category..who mix and match languages…

    Honestly (this is the second time I am not agreeing to you…oh my God!) I think as long as a person is comfortable with a language, it really doesnt matter…language is a means of communication..and if you communication is understood correctly, the medium is not the real issue..

    Yes, one thing I agree is that for official writing or even for writing in journals or magazines, a certain protocol needs to be followed in the language, because when you know that your writings are reaching a larger audience especially young children who are in the learning phase, you should be careful of the words and language you use!

    Still dont ban me Pepper 🙂

    • Pepper said

      RM, I mix languages too! You should just hear my Hindi. I can’t speak without supporting my sentences with English words. It’s because I can’t talk in pure, unadulterated Hindi. Worse still, you should hear me talk Tamil sometime. I know very little and I am always suffixing my words with Hindi/English alternatives. I don’t know those languages. I am trying to learn, so it is forgiven, I hope. And anyway, my ‘mixed language talking’ is restricted to one-on-one communication only. Whenever I am addressing an audience of more than one, I always consider it to be my responsibility to respect the language I am presenting my thoughts in. That is why I would never write in Hindi. I know I will be unable to do it it, and I will end up killing the language. Which in my eyes, is a grave wrong.

      Our understanding of the word ‘language’ is very different RM. For you, it is nothing more than a medium to communicate. For me, it is heritage. It is culture. It is literature. It is something so powerful, and yet so beautiful. My love for languages is very deep rooted. I want to protect and preserve it. And I can’t help being saddened when I see people writing in unforgivable ways.

      This is something I am so passionate about, I will never change my stand. So we just have to agree to disagree here. I would never ban anybody just because we have a few differences 🙂

      • Manasa said

        Hi Pepper,

        I too live in Bay area.. Came here through RM’s blog.. and loved reading each of them. I think I know which place you are talking about when you mentioned about your work place 🙂 I know of friends who worked / work there and I think I understand where you come from. I could connect instantly with you, be it

        • Pepper said

          Hi Manasa, I am sorry, I don’t know how your comment landed in my spam folder. WP has been really acting up. Also, your comment seems incomplete. Was there anything else you said that WP ate up?

      • ariana said

        Like they would say here in the US,”Ain’t that a shame”. One cannot speak their own mother tongue with authority and yet, wax mediocre eloquence in a colonial language. Hail the Queen, yall.

  3. Pal said

    Hey Pepper, I so connect with what you are saying. I too hate people who use the short-cut of SMS language in all of the communication, it’s just plain disrespectful. And here I am, I always have to write in full sentences even when texting, so much so that ven my friends quip that I write so formally! 🙂 But what the heck, I like it that way. And that’s one of the reasons I love your blog, not only are the posts completely relatable, the writi g too is impeccable. Carry on this way as they’re far too many people out there out to “murder” the English language.

    • Pepper said

      My English is far from impeccable Pal. When I read some of my posts, I cringe at the glaring errors. All I know is that I try to respect the language I write in. I simply hate the way some people make a mockery of the language they are writing in. But hey, I am really trying not to judge. Let me focus on my resolution 🙂

  4. I am so like you, Pepper.

    I do know that I have my own shortcomings as far as the language is concerned. That doesn’t deter me from correcting people. ‘Language’ here is both English and my mother tongue, Tamizh. Both are such beautiful languages and people slaughtering them left, right and center makes me angry.

    ‘The purpose of a language is to communicate and if I am able to understand the essence of what the other person is trying to say/write, then it should do good. Right? Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s isn’t such a great deal, or is it?’ I some times question myself on these lines when I see half-baked reports or badly framed sentences. However, I still can’t refrain myself from correcting people always. Old habits die hard. Sigh.

  5. darkcomedy said

    Awesome that you have made this decision. I started on it too, and then something happened that made me break it.

    A blogger who consistently murders the language, but has a huge fan following being told by a ‘friend’ – “Babes, you should totally write a book!” and the reply being “Realllllllyyyyyy babes!! U tink so???????”

    I died that day. All my non-judging died with me too.

    • Pepper said

      I’ve seen such things happening in the blogworld too. It kills me. I wonder what will happen to the wonderful world of books, if such murderers begin authoring them 😦 I once read a book by a guy called Rahul Saini. His informal, slang language, really killed a part of me.

  6. ajay said

    My pencil ka point was broken. How cute! 😀 With the advent of SMS and Twitter, English is abused even more. I try to not judge people on the kind of grammatical errors they make but it’s difficult. This is, of course, not to say that I don’t make any but the intent should be to correct it once you know the mistake and hence my disregard for the uncaring writers.
    Anyway, I wish you all the luck 🙂

    I had written a post on common mistakes we make in this post Ekdum Arbit.

  7. Mukta said

    Hi, my first time here. Are you Indian?

    I think, as Indians, we pay more attention to form rather than content. If I said ‘cme to me’, instead of ‘come to me’, why must it throw anyone off-kilter? As it is with the written text, so it is with accents. We will very readily disregard the complete substance of what a speaker is saying simply because he pronounced ‘thus’ as ‘Daas’.

    I think we all need to be more tolerant. Language, however beautiful and elegant and sophisticated, is just that – it’s language. It’s a bridge, it’s a tool. It’s not the message.

    • Pepper said

      Mukta, I am on my non judging spree, so I don’t want to debate and dispute what you say.
      Anyway, let me put forth my concerns.

      – ‘Come to me’ is spelt as ‘come to me’ for a reason. If there is any valid reason that compels someone to spell it as ‘cme to me’, I would like to hear it. If it is done out of laziness, I wonder how much effort it takes to type a few extra letters? (Note – I am not referring to typing on your cell phone where you have to condense all your content in a few characters. I am referring to cases when people type that way on a full keyboard) I don’t think it is an issue concerning laziness. A lot of times, people don’t end up typing lesser. Cool’ and ‘kewl’ have the same number of letters in them. So do ‘time’ and ‘tyme’. I can go on.

      – I think lack of standardization restricts communication. You spell it as ‘Cme to me’. Somebody else might spell it as ‘Cm 2 me’. A third can spell it as ‘Cum 2 meh’. A certain group of people (for example, the older generation) might have trouble deciphering it. Also, the statement you have chosen to cite as an example is a very simple one. When we have to convey complex messages, it gets that much harder to understand and decode those new age representations. And if there is no standardized way of writing, different people can interpret the content differently, especially if the message is lengthy and complex.

      – For me, language is more than a tool. However, I do understand that not everybody feels that way. But even if language is just a tool, isn’t it important to preserve our tools? Tools are what help us create the final product. If a sculptor allows his tools to deteriorate, or if he uses shoddy tools, he might not be able to carve as intricately. Similarly, if languages collapse, we might not be able to express ourselves with a high level of precision and beauty.

  8. swapna said

    I feel your pain, and I also get your sense of trying not the judge people. I used to be an English snob too ( I still am ,sort of :-)) , but I realised my command over the language is not exceptional either so the part of trying not to be judgmental has become easier to accomplish.
    I still hate and abhor people who use sms language everywhere,especially when I know they had a good chance to learn the language well. The only way out of this for me, is to not communicate with such people if I can avoid it. My only hope is that we don’t leave behind a legacy of mashed up languages for the future …

    • Pepper said

      Only way out of this is to not communicate with such people? Are you serious? In that case, I would have to cut communication with more than half of my social circle. It’s too big a price to pay. I think it’s easier to turn a blind eye to the way they write.

  9. swapna said

    Ohhh I just read my comment once again , what irony , anyways it’s supposed to be ” trying not to judge people” .

  10. popbiscuit said

    I think I always spoke and wrote in fairly grammatically accurate English till I started college. You get so used to texting and chatting with friends online or emailing just them that you form bad habits in writing so fast…
    Dude, I like to think I have never used the sms lingo in email communication or anything else but sadly I know that isn’t true.When I was 20, I had become so accustomed to writing this way that I sent my older cousin an email sharing information on my admits to US universities and asking him for some quick advice.It was a long email completely in slang/sms abbreviations. He was so enraged , that he rang up and shouted at me to learn to write properly.Later my parents saw the email and I had to face another long lecture.Think that conversation changed my writing forever though.So now I do cringe at the same kind of writing I was guilty of once which is slightly hypocritical of me:(

  11. Pixie said

    oh yea! I totally get what you are saying!
    LOL @ My pencil ka point was broken! How cute!!
    It was my Headmistress in school who taught me proper written English and she had zero tolerance for badly written essays!
    At home it was always a mix of Kannada and English with mom always scolding us in English!!! This made sure that we learnt the English curse words quicker!! 😀 😀

  12. A said

    I really understand what you mean. I don’t believe my written skills rock and come close to that of my parents; but I do believe it’s passable. On the same lines, it’s hard not to judge people who find it boring to read or adore Chetan Bhagat because “yaar his English is simple, anyways who need to know grammar and spellings these days”. There are people who can’t turn out good written reports because they let the texting language get the better of them. Or even, write proper formal e-mails! And how does one expect such people to improve these skills? Read books and go back to English classes as a twenty/thirty something? It just gets scarier by the day.

    • Pepper said

      I actually don’t judge people who read Chetan Bhagat. He writes for a different audience, one who isn’t fluent in English, for whatever reasons. I don’t judge people who find it hard to speak English. I only used to judge people who were perfectly capable of speaking correctly, but still chose not to. Anyway, I am really trying to not judge. Also, I don’t think it is wrong to take any kind of a class at any age. 🙂

      • A said

        Agreed that one shouldn’t judge those who aren’t comfortable with English and I don’t think that’s where my concerns are. My gripe is mainly with those who are not interested in treating the language with some respect, especially when they use it for official communication. And if they are happy to take english classes at whatever age they are in, that’s a great thing. But, if you were working in a profession that needs good language skills and with someone who had these issues, what is the feedback that one can give to these folks? These days, I see way too many people who don’t care about language/grammar joining such professions. My issue is, how does someone make these people understand and improve their language skills?
        On a side note, IMO, I don’t think Chetan Bhagat writes for those who aren’t fluent in English. He writes for those who really don’t care about the language and just want a quick trashy read.

  13. I too can’t understand SMS lingo and tried typing ‘dis bit’ in ‘dat’ style but gave up.
    But I have no problem with sentences starting with But or And. ‘However’ is not always a nice way to begin a sentence with, so one uses ‘but’ – it conveys that the emphasis is on what is not.
    They say languages are living things, they grow, evolve, change all the time… but I feel I just can’t evolve enough to understand y v need 2 rite like dis.

  14. Totally know what you mean! I am reading a book “the zoya factor”. It has got rave reviews and thought I would read it because I have read very few books from recent indian authors. But I am having such a hard time completing the book!!! I mean I cringed when I read this line in the first chapter: “it was like jale pe namak”. I mean, c’mon! This sort of stuff in an ‘english’ book! I am not even trying not to judge, and have decided to do a post on my blog once I finish reading this book. I doubt i will finish it though.

    On an unrelated note, it was fun meeting you the other day! my first blogger meet. yay!! 🙂 And on second thoughts, I hope I did not make any gramatical mistakes when I spoke. And even if i did, I hope you didnt notice 😛

    • Pepper said

      Those are the very things that I dread. Literature getting polluted with slang. But anyway, I swear I am trying hard to not judge.

      And hey! Meeting you was so much fun! So glad we did. 🙂

  15. Comfy said

    For me blogging is a medium of self-expression, of writing your opinions down in some cases, of bringing forth ones creativity in others, of preserving memories as well. It is an individual’s take which makes up their blog. To judge someone’s way of expressing themselves seems wrong to me.

    Pepper: You seem to be focusing only on blogging, whereas I wasn’t. Clumsy writing irks me, especially when I see official mails written shabbily. That is what this post was mainly about. Yes, I also get disturbed when I see blogs, or any other kind of writing that consciously and intentionally breaks the language rules. Since you say, “To judge someone’s way of expressing themselves seems wrong to me”. Surely you can’t judge me for expressing my hurt and anger on my own blog then? Oh well, I suppose I do sound a little self righteous here, but I can’t help feeling that way. I will try to change that.

    In fact a couple of my favorite blogs are the ones where there is a mix of languages, emoticons thrown in and all the things considered wrong by language gurus. To me there is so much personality when I read them. They are being true to themselves and have a style uniquely their own. Do you judge people who are funny in their writing but write impeccably? Why judge one style of writing and not the other?

    Pepper: I wish you would realise that my focus was not on blogs. Anyway, so you like certain blogs for certain reasons. I dislike certain blogs for certain reasons. Why would you object to my personal preferences? I never have and never will expect anybody to operate by what I think is right. I am only restricting my thoughts to my blog.

    I am not sure I understand your question. What do you mean by “people who are funny in their writing”. Funny, as in humour? Those are categories/genres. Just like fiction, romance, science, etc. So I would not judge them. For example, I cannot compare Mexican food to Italian food. Those are different categories. But I can compare good Mexican food to bad Mexican food. My idea of good is of course, based on my personal likes and dislikes, and I do not expect the world to abide by them. I am of course entitled to voice my opinions on my blog, right?

    Aah language you say! But not everyone loves the language you love and feels as passionately about it as you do. Personally for me English comes second to the language I think in, dream in and talk most comfortably in. English to me is a way to communicate with majority of the people and nothing more. There can be tons of reasons why someone writes in a certain way. Why judge them without understanding the reason behind it? Calling it murdering the language is a little too extreme, don’t you think?

    Pepper: No, I don’t. For me, using the ‘sms lingo’ in professional mails, writing reports in a colloquial, shabby way is akin to murdering the language. And I have spoken to a lot of people, hoping to understand the reason behind it. They say there is none. They do it because they can. The lack of valid reasoning disturbs me more. If you believe equating it to murder is too extreme, then you don’t do it.

    And yes, I don’t think I ever said I expect people to share my love for languages. English isn’t even the only language I love. Despite that, I don’t agree with the logic of us only caring about things that we love. Also, writing while creating your own rules and styles could make it kind of incoherent for some people who are not familiar with the words the writer is using, don’t you think?.

    If writing is a carrier choice then I would expect your writing, in whatever your language of choice is, to be perfect. Print media, books and so on need to have grammatically correct, with punctuations at all the correct places. Writing for leisure should give everyone the freedom to write the way they want to.

    Pepper: Good to know we agree in part. Regarding writing for leisure, like I said, that was not the focus of my post. And yes, I agree I should try to judge less (although as long as I keep my judgments to myself and my blog, it doesn’t really matter) Guess you missed the bit where I acknowledged the fact that I am wrong and I am resolving to change that and judge less?

    • Comfy said

      I was not judging you and if that is what the comment came across as I apologize. This is your blog and you write about the issues that are important to you. I would never want that to change. What I was trying to do was provide a different opinion. We all do that on various blogs right? I am not passionate about languages in general and I might come out sounding shallow here but yes I don’t seem to care either ways about things or people or issues that I don’t love. That is the selfish human in me. Till it does not affect me or the people and things I care about, I shrug and move on.

      I have, in all my years of working in a professional environment, never come across a single deliberately shabbily written email. There are of course people who don’t have a great command over English and their emails sometimes are difficult to understand but those I can’t get angry about. Written communications in the couple of places I have worked have been above reproach. I also am part of a generation who does not sms (at least here where I live). I fact, I don’t even have sms as part of my cellular plan. I have to pay extra to read or send sms. Neither do my friends write in sms lingo in emails or FB. If I look closely I would say that of all the written communication I have, about 2% of it comes in form of sms lingo. And almost 100% of it is on the blogs. I guess that is why I focused on blogs in my comment. (We do write from out personal experiences, right?).

      I did get the point where you said you are trying to judge less, but in a comment somewhere above you called someone ‘murderer’, that just riled me up. Murder, murderer are very strong words for me. I take them in the very literal sense. (See the stupid things I am passionate about? :|). Just as I get offended when someone uses ‘raped the language’ or ‘that is so gay’ for that matter.

      Have you seen this ad? Kind of the point I am trying to make:

      My honest opinion about languages is what IHM wrote. They are alive, they change. That is why the Oxford dictionary adds new words every now and then. And that English has changed with time is the reason why it is the universal language today. It is open enough to encompass bits and pieces from all the various regions that the language is spoken in and the new regions that are picking it up.
      PS: Sorry for the super long comment.

      • Pepper said

        Please don’t apologize! You spoke your mind and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I hope my response wasn’t offensive? I was just putting forth my views very casually, but it’s hard to determine the tone at such times.

        Wow! Really? I am surprised and envious of you. Why do I keep coming across people who say things like “Send in tat report 2mr”, in an official mail. I swear I am not making that up. And on FB, I don’t know how many people talk that way. It really, truly bothers me no end. I know I need to take a deep breath and ignore it. How they choose to write is their choice, I know. But it’s just so damn hard for me to see such writing everywhere. And at times it gets really hard for me to ignore that anger. The fault is still mine, I should try changing that.

        When I said “murderer”, I wasn’t referring to any one particular person. I was referring to a certain category of people who write that way, and then think of actually writing books. The prospects really scare me endlessly. But, you are totally right. Maybe the world ‘murderer’ is offensive. Thanks for making me realise that. I will try to be more conscious and sensitive while talking/writing. Thank you 🙂

  16. RK said

    I am also in the mode of “being non-judgemental and more forgiving” but for different reasons. I am realising there is no “right” or “wrong” and it is just a perspective. The spelling/grammar/SMS langugage thing is something I can just slide it giving benefit of doubt to the person and telling I am not Ms.perfect either. But the verbal communication which is rude/immatured is something I cannot take. Slowly I am also realising that the other person does not even know he/she is hurting others with their words. It is who they are. I can only take how much I can (just like in an Indian resturant buffet)! and mentaly walk away if I dont like something but again come back to the buffet table if I like something else! hope I am making sense here :-)!

    Sorry I am mainly focusing on the “judging” part here because that is something I am working strongly not to be !

  17. Sig said

    Despite my love for the English language, I confess to butchering it on occasion. ESPECIALLY when blogging. I type and write there as if I am talking and the thoughts flow through my mind down to my fingers onto the keyboard in the same format (Pretty much because I have such a short attention span :P).

    I totally agree with your gripe though – it frustrates me to no end with the ‘sms’ language used in every day situations. I think it’s immature and lazy and I release the full brunt of my judging on them 😛

    PS – I did laugh out loud (literally LOL’d :P) when I read ‘my pencil ka point’. It’s pretty cute. Admit it 😛

  18. I usually have a bone to pick with people who mix their it’s and its! I mean it’s so easy and yet they don’t know where the apostrophe will go and where not!

  19. For blogging or writing a letter to a loved one, which is more an expression of thoughts – and because most times we think in different languages at the same time- I think its absolutely acceptable to write in a ‘mish-mash’ style. Sometimes a word in english might not really make that much of an impact when compared to the coloquial language we use. At those times I would prefer to use my choice of word rather than try converting the same to English.

    When it comes to Official letters/emails – I completely agree with you – both in the usage of the language as well as the SMS lingo is something I dont appreciate. I would prefer the words in their full form and the language should be in english.

    So there- I kind of agree and disagree with you 🙂

    • Hey! Why is my response waiting for moderation? Still thinking who this person is? I’ve moved to WP from here: http://www.rushmechatter.blogspot.com.

      Hope you publish my comment now!

    • Pepper said

      I don’t know why this went to spam, along with a bunch of other comments 😦 My wordpress is acting up.
      And hey, I don’t think we disagree. I wasn’t talking about personal communication. Letters to loved ones are highly personal, and how they are written is not anybody else’s concern. Even blogging, is personal. I have my preferences, but that doesn’t mean I consider any one way to be right or wrong. So I guess we agree 🙂

  20. DI said

    I totally used to judge people with Bad grammar too. I have a post about that somewhere too. But then, I have learnt to be SO much more patient now that I deal with scores of Europeans, most of who are pathetic in their command over English, and totally not ashamed of it. ‘This is not our mother tongue’, that’s their excuse. That’s when I started wondering why in the world we in India make such a big deal of talking, or writing in immaculate English. It is not our mother tongue too.

    That being said, I think I have the right to choose who to read, based on how they write, so I choose not to read people I think do not have a good command over the language, more so because I do not enjoy it. I admit to reading blogs which are in Hinglish, because I relate to them, and though I avoid using emoticons in my posts, I read a lot of bloggers who do.

    Hmm. What else. Oh yes, I still CANNOT accept the sms lingo, BCOZ, I DNT LYK DAT 1 BIT. But I blame it on my old age 😉

    Lastly, I am guilty of typos in my blog, because I never re-read what I write. So I give people the benefit of doubt at times. But I have improved my attention to blog material like crazy, and this can be proved by reading my deep dark posts from 2004. Oh, and I am very particular about office mails and the language in them, which I have been lucky to have pretty ok so far!

    Phew, that was long, and inconclusive, however that was my view 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Okay, I will answer your first question. While working, people speak in the official language of the country they live in. English is NOT the official language of most of the European countries. I just looked on Wiki to double check. In France, French is the only official language. German is the sole official language of Germany. In Switzerland, the three official languages are German, French, and Italian. I can go on. So I wouldn’t expect the European folks to speak fluent English, because that is not the language in which their business communication takes place. Whereas in India, Hindi and English are the official languages. Hindi is rarely used because most people are working for multinational companies. Even the local companies today use only English. Our official language IS English. So I would expect people to be fluent in the language they use professionally.

      People in Europe can afford to have the “That is not my mother tongue” attitude. I think it would be silly for an Indian to even think on those lines. India, unlike other European countries has a several hundred languages! Every other person has a different mother tongue. We can’t expect to operate or write official mails in our mother tongue. Think about it. For the Europeans, in most cases, their mother tongue and the official language are the same. So I don’t think an Indian can justify his lack of desire to learn English, the same way a European can. The two cases are so different, it’s like comparing apples to dogs 😀

      • DI said

        Er, disagree! I am talking of a Global Organization like the one I work for, our Official language is English. Stated officially. Even our Intranet pages in every country are in English by default. Hence that would not be a wrong reasoning at all 🙂
        That being said, the people who join my company (which is basically Swiss) are required to be fluent in English as part of their ‘job description’, but still, they goof up, and expect others to understand because it is not their mother tongue. Going by that, the same analogy applies to the Indian office as well 🙂 It is totally apples vs apples, at most green vs red 😉

        • Pepper said

          Lol. Let’s chuck it. I think our fundamentals differ widely. I still think a European not knowing or wanting to know English is VERY different from an Indian not knowing or wanting to know English. When I say ‘business communication’, I am not referring only to jobs in offices, but everyday personal business too. People in Europe mostly speak the same language as everybody else in their country. In India, the dynamics are far too complex and there are too many variables to keep in mind. Knowing English is a crucial requirement for most Indians (if they want to really succeed), but a European can be fairly successful without knowing English, but that’s just my opinion, and you are totally free to disagree of course 🙂

          • DI said

            😀 Yeah! That btw I agree to, knowing good english is crucial for succeeding professionally in India, and not elsewhere! But then that is the con of being a developing country I guess 🙂

  21. Reema said

    Hmmm interesting post! Judging others gives oneself tension so what is the use? Be and Let Be.
    p.s. I wonder whether it should be small or capital G in grammar…at both places.

    p.p.s would love to read your “north Indians vs south Indians” post if you could give me the password.

    • Pepper said

      Well actually, I’d say it’s the opposite. Judging others doesn’t give oneself tension. Humans are programmed to think and form opinions about everything they see around them. Trying not to form opinions is strenuous (at least in the beginning). It requires patience and some effort to get to a stage where the non thinking comes naturally. So like I said, I think the opposite of what you say is true 🙂

      And yes, I am always confused about whether grammar should be writtein capital or small. I should find out/

      Will mail you the password. Remind me if I forget?

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