Monday, 31 December 2007

British and American English

Baba Gyani Triviani says:

"Shun American, and you'll learn to speak proper English"

English -a fantastic language given to the world by Great Britain. However now there are variants - British English, American English, Indian English and so on. But of all these British and American are the two most widely used types. What I don't understand is - Why use American English?

Some people argue that American English is a simplified version of British English, and thus they are making lives of people easy by elimination of redundant letters. Yeah right! Let's face it. The Americans want to standardise their own units. Although the world has its own units, the Americans are stubborn and refuse to use the units used by the rest of the world. And what's sad is that the might and power of the USA is compelling other countries to go the American way. We use the kilometres, and they use miles. We express in litres what they express in gallons. Not that we don't know what that means. But our standard units and theirs are so much different.

American English according to me is a sham. That's because although they claim to make colour as color - removing the redundant u, what I don't quite follow is why not make the spelling of cat ALSO as "kat". This way, both spellings become acceptable - now THAT's simplification. Current currant, curant kurrant, kurrent - they all sound the same and thus, we seem to have a redundant letter - eliminate k or c. So in American English, we can reduce a letter. Or allow both.

Likewise - Circus, sircus; cell sell - let's remove another. Either of v or w also needs to go - velcome, welcome. And this way, we can reduce the difficulty of many people who have bad spellings. Spell checks also can be removed from programs which renders coding simpler. They also keep altering spellings. There's always this confusion of - is it an s or a z?

Bah! Stupid logic. I say stick to the British English. It's the original one, it's the correct one. It may be a little longer - a letter or two extra won't kill you. We have all survived with British Englih so long that we don't feel affected by these two "redundant" letters in our words. I suggest we all oppose the American idea of trying to push their ideas onto us. I don't want to get AmericaniSed for the heck of it.

In fact, just to piss them off, I think I should call it - Amerikan English

I am proud to be an Indian, proud to be driving on the left side of the road and using the right words.

A recent update on facebook resulted in the following thread

Nikhil Baliga It's a pity when people write "realiZe", "optimiZe" in SOPs. Sheesh! Suck ups to the Americans!

Bharath Srivatsa, Nina Booth, Nagamohan Vt and 3 others like this.

Sreedevi Prasad: do u by any chance screen SOPs? or ppl approach you for proof reading? :)

Nikhil Baliga: ‎:P Yup! Clearly I don't screen SOPs :P

Karthik Rangarajan: As far as I remember, I used z's and s's interchangeably all of my life. I don't think I was sucking up to anyone. :) Also, if you they see S instead of Z, they'll think you don't know your spelling, so boom, you lose a couple of brownie points there. Don't blame people even if they're sucking up. :)
2 people like this

Nikhil Baliga: Yeah :P that's what I am saying... fear of losing brownie points and using Zs is a pity man. The Americans do everything using their own standards just to show that they don't conform to the established standards. Like, they drive on the right side (or wrong side :P) of the road, just to show they don't follow the British. And don't even get me started on metrics. It's sad we follow these incorrect spellings. :P
2 people like this

Karthik Rangarajan: Technically, the Americans are conforming to standards when they drive on the right side of the road: 66% of the world does. Yes, they rebel and set their own standards. But doesn't everyone do that? Do we follow standards on our own roads?... Hell, we don't even have standards in a lot of things.

As they say, when you are in Rome, you need to be Roman. Every country has their own way of doing things, and if you're going to that country, you need to be like them. If I come back from the US, and try to stick to my lane, and do lane changes only when necessary, its not going to work, is it?

Nikhil Baliga: :P I am not saying drive on the other side man... What I am saying is - We are taking them to be the de facto Romans. If there are meetings and calls, Indians are awake at American timings. I know loads of people working at 2AM (Not call c...entre employees). When I already have Kgs, litres and Kilometres, why are they again talking in terms of pounds, gallons and miles?

If I am being reviewed by a bunch of people who don't know that "realiSe" and "optimiSe" and Indian/British English spellings and take it as wrong spellings, I wouldn't think much about them. It's common sense. Why should I write spellings to appease someone else? I don't see Americans writing it as realiSe when they mail Indians... They care two hoots for it.

Prashanth Harshangi: Why should you write in english to appease someone else?

Nikhil Baliga: That's my question Prashanth :P and yet people write...

Chiranth Ashok: The problem is people don't WRITE..... They type or copy paste... I am pretty sure a majority of us don't change the spell check utility in MS Office to follow the proper English.. The default settings would give a red line for an S and you would simply change the spelling to make the red line go away... if there are red and green lines when somebody opens a document it simply doesn't look good and that's it..

Nikhil Baliga: Ha :-) I actually point out every time I see - and the people said "They are Americans" (As Karthik above says - When in Rome, be a Roman) and so, that's why, they intentionally keep American spellings.

Personally, I see this to be a servile... attitude. You will never see Americans spell it for you because YOU spell it that way. But there is a general tendency among Indians to spell it like them. Again, it is not the spelling per se, but the attitude that I have a problem with.
2 people like this

Sriranga Chidambara: They tend to spell it nearest to however it is pronounced and it is not to just rebel against the British. You won't find Americans spelling "supervize", do you?

Chiranth Ashok: Now that i think about it again, i feel a majority of Americans were/are not very bright... they just write whatever it sounds like... and it simply has become a standard thing.........

Nikhil Baliga: ‎@Ranga - I was expecting this... Here is a post to an age old post of mine where I discuss letter redundancy - See if you agree or disagree.

Kavya Sampath Kumar: When the SOP itself is an attempt to go to an 'American university', why is a 'Z' in place of an 'S' a big deal? When you are spending x number of dollars filling out their applications, and y amount of time in going through the process,... it only makes sense not to let some stupid spelling let all your money and time go down a drain. In any case, variants of spellings for a word are a matter of convenience (when you are trying to express your ideas and they are not being judged/graded). There's no point losing sleep over it.See more

Nikhil Baliga: So you are basically saying that "I am spending money and time to go there. Let me spell like this, so that they take me because they don't see/care about my merits/money/time/ability but my SPELLINGS?"

Kavya Sampath Kumar: ‎^ They care about merits,money,time,ability and SPELLINGS.

Nikhil Baliga: Yeah, that's what I said earlier... If they are a bunch of people who are going to say that Z is correct and S is wrong, I consider them as ignorant for not knowing the existence of two types of possible spellings.

Clearly your mindset is t...o make it easier for the Americans to understand and not for you to put YOUR individual styles across. This either means that you have a servile attitude or a condescending one - Either you think they are too good and don't want them to break a sweat trying to figure out why S is used or that you think they are so stupid that they can't differentiate and so you make it easier for them this way.See more

Kavya Sampath Kumar: It's probably neither of those attitudes. It's just indifference.

Nikhil Baliga: Insistence of american spellings can't be indifference. Using interchangeably is indifference

Lakshman Gs: Ultimately the Americans must understand that by typing the words "realise, optimise and colour" they can convey the point. They also must "realise" or understand that a message should be conveyed in the Language of english and not in the "AMERICAN WAY of Speaking"
1 person likes this

Sunday, 30 December 2007

India... On the top

The Three Swamis Chant:

"Blessed are they, to be born in India, blessed are they who this they seek;
As for the rest, Oh dear God, grant them their wish, forgive their cheek"

Great country India - I am not saying this for the sole reason of being an Indian. India is a large country with a diversity in everything - I always find it very hard to believe how such a large country that has a bit of everything - it houses every religion you can think of: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Parsees, Jews, Paganism, Animism and everything else you know. Every state of India, is like a country of Europe - they speak different languages like Europeans do, and their sizes are comparable too. Our growth rate is higher than all countries in the world - fastest growing economy, next to China... We have everything we need - the size, the power, the young energetic working population, the wealth, history, culture, the resources (all inclusive), the technology, nuclear armament (to keep enemies at bay - it's necessary) and everything else. Home of the oldest civilization, oldest classics and epics, original languages, and now, urban and modern world co-exist in the same land.

India is known not only for all these, but also for being a land that is highly spiritual. People from all over the world come here for it. For Yoga, Dharma, Karma which now is the buzz word, etc. We have several problems, no doubt, poverty, bad roads, corruption, terrorists bothering us and others. In spite of all these, India continues to grow, just imagine the growth we would be having if it wasn't for all these problems. Phenomenal. Just thinking about all this makes my adrenaline rush. If you think I am being a little hyper, why don't you have a look at this video. It's an unbiased view from an American news channel -

India has several advantages, we have a large coastline, great friends (Russia who has always been loyal, Israel with whom relations need to be strengthened), some of the best medical facilities in the world which is also very cheap compared to other countries like the USA - which is why they fly down here to get their hearts operated upon... very patriotic people, and a powerful military force. Actually right now, I am not getting the proper mindset to write a lot because of my exams being close. So, you know what? Here's the complete thing what I wanted to put across -

Read the content of this:
Wikipedia Content

Visit this discussion board [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]:

Friday, 28 December 2007

What goes around, comes around

Swami Baba Gyani Triviani believes in:

"What goes around comes around"

Benazir Bhutto; Charismatic Pakistani leader - Daughter of the East... and now a martyr. It's indeed sad that she faced such a tragic end. However, it only shows that terrorism is something that is beyond the control of Pakistan. At least from what has happened.

It's indeed a shame that a country that has been mothering and supporting terrorists against India so long has now fallen victim to the very thing that they nurtured so tenderly and lovingly with affection. It has led Pakistan to slip into a state of anarchy and confusion - Pakistanis are killing themselves (protest in Karachi) - And so are the terrorists (suicide attacks), in the process taking away innocent lives. If only Pakistan had been peaceful, like India is and has always urged her neighbour to do the same, terror would never have become this deep rooted in the country which lost her daughter. Now Pakistan is sinking slowly, gradually into the quicksand - the trap that they themselves created; which seems to have boomeranged.

What goes around, comes around - if we wish ill for others, the same might befall us. What's done cannot now be undone - only plans can be made for the future. May her soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Conversion and Evangelism

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Life's like a doughnut, go and take a poll;
if one sees the halo, the other sees the hole"

India is indeed a great country - a country that is secular, and preaches tolerance in everything. But we see a lot of problems that would naturally exist in such a large population. Religious intolerance. Well, now how would you define religious intolerance? If a person from one religion hates a person from another religion just because of that, then you can call it as intolerance. But is this really prevalent in India (or elsewhere) ?

I am a tolerant person, I am a Hindu. I have some friends who are Christians and Muslims... But when we are all together, we are just friends - we really don't care if a person belongs to this or that; what's more important is that we are all friends, we are all together. But this is not the case with Evangelists and Christian Conversion monks. Hinduism is a very tolerant religion; one which tells you what is what, but has never asked anyone to go and get non-Hindus to the fold. This apparently doesn't seem to be the case with Christianity, (I don't mean to blame or accuse the entire religion, however it's true) which believes that people should all be converted to Christianity...

Note before you continue reading:
a) I found this web site to be really fantastic Please do pay this web site a visit.
b) Orkut community opposing Evangelism

There are many tricks and gimmicks used by missionaries to convert people to Christianity. I was talking to someone the other day, w
ho told me that the easiest target for conversion, are the poor and the tribals. They are given money, food, clothing and other "material" things, and then are "led" towards their spiritual goals. They are given the Bible and are constantly told Jesus is EVERYTHING, and the rest is fake; that they should embrace Him... Why? If you are so concerned about the health and quality of life of these poor people, just give them what you give them, without introducing religion into the picture. It's obvious where they are being led.

Here's an example of a simple conversion of tribals, who know not what a truck is. They are asked to push the truck by shouting the name of their God. Inside the driver has kept his foot on the brake pedal. The truck doesn't move. Now the evangelist asks the tribal to shout the name of Jesus... And Lo, the truck moves [You guessed it, the foot isn't on the brake pedal !!!] Simple, yet efficient. The conclusion made to draw is that Jesus is all powerful, convert and live powerfully.

I was thinking - this kind of trickery would work on a tribal who knows nothing about the modern world. But you can't royally fool an educated person like this, or at least a person who is aware of the whatnots of the urban world. Casteism is one problem that exists in the Hindu community, and a recent article in the newspaper very clearly showed casteism exists in the Christian community too. Converts especially - a low caste Hindu, converted to a Christian, is a low caste Christian - draw your own points.

I once again reiterate what I started with - Be religious tolerant, but force not your beliefs upon another; to each his own - and for "Christ's sake" please don't use gimmicks like the trucks et al. People, get a life, be true or beat it.